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La Follette Illusion
In an Analysis of the Political Role of
Senator Robert M. LaFollette
'The Government-Strikebreaker," "American Imperialism,"
"Blood and Steel/' "What's What About Coolidge."
Workers Party of America
1113 W. Washington Blvd.
ky of T<
MILLIONS of workers and poor farmers are today being
urged to accept the guidance and put faith in the pro-
gram of a movement aiming to restore "the good old days."
At such a time it becomes a matter of cardinal political
import to scrutinize the activities and examine the principles
of this movement. It is my purpose to analyze the record of
Senator Robert M. LaFollette's forty years of politics with
a view towards estimating historically the accomplishments,
potentialities and promises of the movement which he leads
Time is always required to discover the political effects,
the effects on the politico-economic class relationships, of any
broad movement. Sometimes a great deal of time is re-
quired. In the case of the "Wisconsin Idea," which LaPol-
lette and his followers are now asking the workingmen and
increasing army of expropriated farmers to help extend thru-
out the country, we fortunately have had much time.
In examining the significance of the present middle class
"liberation" movement, the writer has been guided by two
principles. First, what are the facts; second, and of equal
importance: what conclusions do these facts weave as to the
LaFollette group being worthy of the trust and leadership
of the workers and dispossessed farmers?
Governed by these two principles, I make it my objective
to put the official record, the pertinent, authoritative esti-
mates above and to the exclusion of opinion and conjecture.
In conclusion, I want to express my indebtedness to my
friend and comrade, Bert Miller, whose diligent and accurate
research assistance has made possible this publication.
September 1, (Labor Day) 1924,
WHAT DOES LAFOLLETTE WANT?
SENATOR ROBERT MARION LAFOLLETTE is now trying to get to-
gether into a loose political alliance all the "honest" business men,
the normally well-to-do farmers, the highly skilled laborers, and great sec-
tions of the working class and the dispossessed farming masses.
After more than forty years of failures to curb the growth of trusti-
fied industry, the Wisconsin senator has decided to launch one grand
offensive, a final rush, as it were, against the monster of "Special
What is LaFollette driving at? What does he want? Is he deserving
of the leadership, of the confidence and the trust of the working and poor
farming masses of the country? Is his program worthy of support by the
exploited workers and the dispossessed farmers?
Coolidge, the reactionary Republican candidate, does not hide his in-
tents and purposes. "Cautious Cal" is out to strengthen and perpetuate
the capitalist system of the exploitation of the workers and the poorest
Davis, the Democratic standard bearer, proclaims his allegiance to the
present economic order with equal devotion and as intense fervor.
LaFollette, at the head of the third party movement, does not demand
or seek the abolition of the capitalist system of production and exchange.
Mr, LaFollette, the champion of the little capitalists, differs with Cool-
idge and Davis, the spokesmen of the biggest employing class interests,
primarily as to the best method of perpetuating the wage system. Coolidge
and Davis would maintain the present class system by concentrating ever
more the political and economic power in the hands of the strongest finan-
cial and industrial overlords. LaFollette, on the other hand, would main-
tain the capitalist system by diffusing the same political and economic
power amongst the various social layers of the property-owning class.
But of these three presidential candidates, LaFollette is the one who
forcefully asserts that he is a progressive. He alone, of the three, goes
out of the way to lay claim to the undivided political support of the work-
ing and farming masses.
It is our task to see whether Senator LaFollette is entitled to the con-
fidence of the city and rural workers and to the trust of the expropriated
farmers on the basis of his record, on the basis of his achievements in a
political career of more than four decades.
But before analyzing the contentions of the Wisconsin senator and his
followers, it would be well for us to consider briefly the historical condi-
tions, the material and social milieu giving rise to the LaFollette move-
A World Phenomenon
At the close of the World War the employing class governments of the
leading countries tended more and more to take on an openly reactionary
and dictatorial character.
This tendency was stimulated by political and economic class con-
siderations of the capitalists. The fear of Soviet Russia; the terror struck
in the hearts of the exploiters by the rapid rise of the Communist move-
ment; the necessity to restore production and exchange at the earliest
moment in order to save a tottering economic system; the need for crush-
ing the most elementary demands of the working masses embittered by the
severe depression which came after the Versailles Treaty — all of these
forces lent impetus to the trend toward ruthless, open dictatorships.
But soon there was a vigorous reaction to this development. In Great
Britain the reactionary Baldwin and Curzon rule gave way to the Labor
cabinet of Ramsay McDonald and Philip Snowden. In France the militar-
ist Poincare gave way to the co-called Socialist ministry of Herriot. In
Spain the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera and the notorious "Butcher"
Weyler is on its last legs. Even in Italy, the cradle of Fascism, Mussolin's
power is waning.
In the United States there was also developing a sharp swing from the
black days of Palmer and Daugherty The seven million majority of Hard-
ing was turned into a minority in less than three years. The strong re-
sistance of the workers to the terrific open shop drive launched by the
employers in the crisis of 1920-22 — the gigantic national textile, mining
and railway strikes — led a good deal towards developing the political con-
sciousness of our workers and hastening the change. Then, the acute
agricultural depression of the last five years was a powerful force towards
breaking up political and class alignments. For the first time in the his-
tory of American politics the organized Farmer-Labor movement showed
tangible signs and increasing evidence of assuming a national, organized
In a word, the United States, like the other leading capitalist coun-
tries, veered from the openly dictatorial, frankly violent governmental ad-
ministrations to cabinets whose capitalist suppressive character was
masked, to policies whose phrases had a peaceful tone, to foreign relations
which had the veneer of liberalism and the hollow ring of abstract, pure-
plus democracy. The Communist International has well characterized the
present political era of capitalism as democratic-pacifist.
It is in such a period, at such a turn in the historical development of
the United States, that Senator Robert Marion LaFollette of Wisconsin ap-
pears as the personification of the glories of the past, the aspirations of the
present, and the dreams of the future of the small-sized and medium-sized
capitalist property owners. He is thus seeking the political support not
only of all "honest" business men, of all disgruntled, well-to-do farm own-
ers and highly skilled laborers, but also of great sections of the working
class and the exploited farming masses.
Mr. LaFollette, the spokesman of the lesser developed owning interests
which have been smarting under the whip of highly developed, monopolized,
trustified industry, is now attempting to lead and control the slowly crys-
tallizing class resentment of the working and poor farming masses against
the biggest exploiters through a loose political alliance of the discontented
working class and poor farmers with the middle class.
THE "WISCONSIN IDEA"— REGULATING PROFITS
l_ many truly radical measures has he ever introduced or even sup-
ported on the floor of the Senate? In fact, LaFollette's radicalism has
been evident more in opposition than in support. . . . Unless you class
the Railroad Valuation Act — one of the best legislative things that has
ever happened to the railroads — or the Seamen's Act as radical, his name
is identified nationally with scarcely a single law that truly goes to ex-
"And most of the legislation he promoted in Wisconsin is no longer
classed as radical."
This is the way LaFollette was sized up several months ago by Aaron
Hardy Ulm, the correspondent of the reactionary Barron's Financial Week-
ly, by one who has been working intimately with the Wisconsin Senator
in many of his advocacies.
LaFollette a Safety Valve
We are further told by the well-known Richard Barry in Hearst's In-
ternational of August, 1922, that the reactionary Senator Moses of New
Hampshire, now high in the councils of Coolidge, said to him of LaFollette:
"I disagree with his later policies, but I am frank to say it would be
a grave error for Wisconsin herself to defeat LaFollette. . . ."
Barry then goes on to say that a New York supporter, after hearing
what Moses said, added: "He is our safety valve. Where else is a com-
manding figure, who, while scrupulous about law and order, yet points the
hopeful way to political revolution?"
The Washington observer, William Hard, who has had a chance to see
LaFollette in action for many years thus characterized the Wisconsin
Senator as he was departing for Europe last year:
"LaFollette, it is noted, has introduced no bills for vast governmental
corporations for the buying and selling of farm products. ... He has
seen many such bills introduced by radical senators and by progressive
senators and even (as in the case of Senator Gooding) by conservative
senators. He himself has given his name to none of them."
At the last national convention of the Republican party held in Cleve-
land, on June 10th, Congressman Henry Allen Cooper, leader of the Wis-
consin delegation, pointed out that those who have been branding the La-
Follette program radical had better keep in mind the fact that of the
thirty-one planks offered by his state since 1908, no less than twenty-six
have been enacted into law. Eleven of the thirteen proposed planks by
LaFollette in 1908 are now law. Fifteen of the eighteen proposals sub-
mitted by LaFollette in 1912 have since been written into the federal stat-
utes. Among these may be mentioned the enlargement of the powers of the
Interstate Commerce Commission, the physical valuation of railroads, di-
rect election of senators and regulation of telephones and telegraphs.
Business Interests Safe
And in accepting the presidential nomination at Cleveland, LaFollette
further declared: "I am a candidate upon the basis of my public record,
as a member of the House of Representatives, as Governor of Wisconsin,
and as a member of the United States Senate. I shall stand upon that
record exactly as it is written, and shall give my support only to such pro-
gressive principles and policies as are in harmony with it."
On this basis only we will take apart the warp and woof of the fabric
of LaFollette's record. \,
All the Wisconsin Senator wants today, or ever has wanted, is to make
business safe and stable by removing its "evils." Preparing for his 1912
campaign to win the Republican presidential nomination, LaFollette said
in his Weekly 6f December 2, 1911:
"The Wisconsin Plan is not to harass but to foster legitimate business.
Legitimate business suffers quite as much as does the public from the
depredations of the financial pirates who have so boldly domineered the
seas of industry in this country for a dozen years and more. Wisconsin
has outlawed the Captain Kiclds of business; but she has laid the hands of
protection and encouragement upon the honest investor."
In a special statement issued by Senator LaFollette on January 10,
1924, relative to his railroad bill to amend the interstate commerce laws,
we find the following illuminating evidence of the Wisconsin Senator's
strong belief in the continuation of the present system of the private own-
ership of capital whereby the working class is exploited:
"The amendments which I offer are based upon the principle that the
private owners of the railroads are entitled to be reimbursed for the actual
cost of the services they performed and to be paid a fair return upon the
money which they have prudently invested in property now devoted to
public service. Just compensations for services, reimbursement of expenses
and a fair interest on capital employed, should be paid those who devote
work on property to public service, but no more."
Stands for Private Ownership
Here we have it. LaFollette insists that society should pay tribute to
the owners of the railroads for their mere ownership which he calls "de-
voting work on property to public service." This is precisely what the
most ardent defender of the railway and other big business interests want.
LaFollette and the most reactionary capitalists are agreed that capital
should be privately owned. Both agree that this ownership entitles the
owners to an income which, of course, is produced by those who work, by
those who invest labor-power in production, by the working class. Their
difference is only over what constitutes a "just, legitimate" amount that
the capitalist owners should take from the products of the workers.
Proud of Big Profits for Wisconsin Capitalists
In his 1912 campaign bible, entitled "^'Progressive Wisconsin," we find
that LaFollette, then, as now, aspiring for the presidency as a progres-
sive, was boasting over the beneficial effects ^his program has had on the
biggest employing class interests in Wisconsin. AVe quote:
"There has not been a railroad company important or minor, in the
state that has not had an increase of profits, both gross and net, and this
increase has been greater than that which the mere natural growth of the
state would account for. ...
"What has been the effect of this regulation on the business of the
"Many of them are now transacting unprecedented volumes of busi-
ness, all of them are enjoying increased earnings. The securities of those
companies have increased in substantial value and investments in them,
particularly by small investors and by the smaller banks, has gone to the
point where it betrays a healthy confidence."
This is the "Wisconsin Idea" applied. This is the program that Mr.
LaFollette holds out to the workers and farmers today as the source of
their hope, as the road to their freedom from the railroad capitalists, the
shipping magnates, the capitalist owners of public utilities— the exploiting
class. This is Wisconsin, the "Model Commonwealth," that LaFollette
would have the workers and dispossessed farmers extend throughout the
THE "WISCONSIN IDEA"— INSURING PROFITS
THE facts of LaFollette's career weave the conclusion that he has done
more talking but less acting against the cursed trusts than some of
his reactionary colleagues with whom he has been working in the Repub-
lican party for more than forty years.
Bosses Approve "Progressive" Schemes
Under these circumstances it is not surprising to find Theodore Roose-
velt, writing on "Wisconsin— Safety of Prosperity," in LaFollette's Weekly
of June 3, 1911, declare:
"They made it evident not merely by words, but by deeds that they
would not for one moment sanction any pandering to class hatred or any
unjust assault on property rights. A big railway official, before I entered
the state, had casually mentioned to me that if he had a just cause there is
no tribunal in the country before which he would rather present his case
than the Wisconsin railway commission."
Let us for a change listen to the Honorable Daniel Hoan, the socialist
mayor of Milwaukee, who has just jumped on the LaFollette band wagon.
In Hoan's pamphlet, entitled, "The Failure of Regulation," and once offl-
cially circulated by the socialist party of America, we find an array of
typical, glowing tributes paid by big business interests to LaFollette's
"progressive" program. We cite two such cases offered by Hoan:
In response to a request for a Thanksgiving Day statement, John L.
Beggs, then general manager of the Milwaukee traction trust, and "con-
cededly the shrewdest financier and dividend maker which the utility
corporations have supplied in Wisconsin in recent years," said in the Mil-
waukee Morning Press of November 24, 1907:
" 'I am thankful that the Traction affairs in the city of Milwaukee have
gotten into the hands of the Railroad Commission of Wisconsin, an effi-
cient body of men free from local prejudice, and capable of judging what
" 'It is the best thing that ever happened to the Milwaukee Electric
Railway and Light Company. It will insure to the Company fair treat-
ment, and to Milwaukee the best service we can give at a fair rate.' "
Then Mayor Hoan tells us that Mr. H. Draher, manager of the bond
department of the Marshall and Illsley Bank of Milwaukee, lauded the
LaFollette regulation laws in an address before the Wisconsin State Tele-
phone Association on February 21, 1912. According to the Socialist mayor,
Mr. Draher declared that the regulation laws made it easier for corpora-
tions to get franchise, gave long indefinite franchise permits, eliminated
cut-throat competition, and "guaranteed to the investor a return of the
money invested by compelling the cities to pay the full value of privately
owned plants, whether they wanted to or not, in the event the cities pro-
posed to go into the business."
The approval with which the LaFollette program has met at the hands
of some of the biggest capitalist interests in Wisconsin is also indicated
in the following interview given Richard Barry, by an ex-official of the
Northwestern Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee in Hearst's Interna-
tional for August 1922 :
" 'Some of us who fought LaFollette in the early days became his bene-
ficiaries after his insurance and railroad acts got to working.' "
Employers Reward "Regulators"
Recently the country was stirred over the fact that William G. Mc-
Adoo utilized his prestige as an ex-cabinet officer in obtaining employment
at the hands of big corporations, like the Doheny Oil interests and the
Republic Iron and Steel Company. It is no secret that this profitable em-
ployment lost McAdoo the Democratic nomination and perhaps the presi-
But in Wisconsin there have been many such cases of ex-railroad com-
mission, or ex-public utility commission officers being employed by the
very corporations they were regulating as soon as their terms of office ex-
pired. We will call upon so friendly a witness to Mr. LaFollette as Victor
Berger to tell us of a few of the outstanding instances where the LaFol-
lette regulators were rewarded with handsome jobs by the supposedly
Quoting from the Milwaukee Leader of August 6th, we learn:
"J. P. Cadby, Madison, secretary of the 'regulated' Wisconsin Electric
& Gas Association, was formerly an employee of the Wisconsin Railroad
"Edward Strait, a rate expert with the H. H. Byllesby company, was
formerly with the Wisconsin Railroad commission.
"Public utility corporations also have taken two of the four men who
have been secretaries of the Wisconsin Railroad commission during its
"A former railroad commissioner, Carl D. Jackson, bitterly remem-
bered by Milwaukee citizens, 'served the state' from 1916 to 1922. He is
now a public utility attorney in New York — general attorney of the Nation-
al Electric Light Association and also for the National Gas Association,
composed of 'regulated' privately owned public utilities." The latter was
appointed by Governor Blaine whom LaFollette' is today supporting for
In the same list Mr. Berger names a dozen other cases where the La-
Follette "regulators" were royally rewarded, in the McAdoo fashion, by
the very trusts and public utilities which they were regulating.
More Smoke Than Fire
LaFollette's state record shows that he has almost limited himself to
talking rather than fighting against the monopolists. There has been more
smoke than fire in LaFollette's war on the trusts.
Again turning to Mayor Hoan of Milwaukee, we are enlightened as to
how LaFollette handled the big corporations with silk gloves while he was
governor. In Hoan's "Failure of Regulation" we read: "Not only were
trusts not prosecuted in Wisconsin while Senator LaFollette was governor,
but they have not been prosecuted before or since, in spite of the fact that
there was then and is now a statute (Section 179 1-j) which provides in
substance that any corporation organized under the laws of Wisconsin
which shall enter into any combination or agreement to prevent competi-
tion or to control prices, shall in an action to be instituted by the attorney-
general of the state, have its charter revoked.
"The above statute has been on the the statute books since 1897.
Since that time we have had Democratic, Republican, Progressive, Tory,
and lastly, Bull Moosely inclined governors.
"Notwithstanding this splendid variety, no trusts have been prose-
cuted in this state. All of this proves that if smashing th^ trusts is part
of the 'Wisconsin idea' up to the present the idea has not materialized
any tangible results."
Regulation No Weapon
LaFollette is and has been trying to fly in the face of industrial de-
velopment. The fact of the matter is that, economically, great industrial
units are both desirable and inevitable. Instead of demanding that these
highly organized industries be socialized and controlled by the working
class, LaFollette has been seeking to return to the old system of competi-
tive, small industrial units.
If attempted prosecution of trusts is to be considered a criterion of
friendship to workers and poor farmers, then Coolidge and his anti-labor
crew have at least as much right to be deemed friends of the working
fclrersity of T
masses as the Wisconsin Senator. Since the Harding-Coolidge administra-
tion came into office it has brought no less than sixty-one anti-trust suits.
The contractors and manufacturers in the building trades, the sugar, lum-
ber, pottery, and harvesting machinery corporations have been amongst
the targets of the reactionary Republican administration.
Of course, nothing dangerous or harmful has happened to these groups
of powerful exploiters.
EVERY successful capitalist politician has his "angels," his multi-mill-
McKinley had his Mark Hanna, of iron and coal fame. Roosevelt was
lavishly supported by G. W. Perkins, of the Steel and Harvester Trusts.
Wilson had his Cyrus H. McCormick and David B. Jones of the Harvester
and Zinc Trusts. Coolidge has his Dwight W. Morrow, of the House of
LaFollette is no exception to this golden rule of employing class poli-
tics. Since his advent into practical politics, the Wisconsin senator has
been supported by a heaven full of "angels" — bankers, sugar kings, manu-
facturers, oil attorneys, wealthy merchants and multi-millionaires ranging
from the notorious lumber baron, Stephenson, in the early day, to the in-
ternational financier, Vanderlip, today.
Multi-millionaires LaFollette's "Angels"
When Senator LaFollette made his debut in public life, a millionaire
lumber magnate, Stephenson, was his leading "angel." Altogether, Mr.
Stephenson furnished about five hundred thousand dollars toward putting
LaFollette in the front row at the national political theatre in Washington.
In return for this generous and "angelic" support, the trust-busting La-
Follette later did his bit toward putting this multi-millionaire in the
United States Senate. While Isaac Stephenson was getting LaFollette's
support in 1907, he played in the lumber industry the role that Harriman
used to play in the railroad world. It will also be recalled that the ring
of Stephenson's money was heard throughout the investigation of the
notorious Lorimer scandal in the Senate.
One of the chief supporters of the Wisconsin Senator today is Mr. W.
T. Rawleigh, President of the W. T. Rawleigh Company of Freeport, Illi-
nois, with a capital and resources of more than thirteen million dollars.
Mr. Rawleigh employs a thousand workers and has factories also at Mem-
phis and Winnipeg. Besides being the president of the largest proprietary
product concern in the world, Mr. Rawleigh owns an interest in the Capi-
tal Times published at Madison, Wisconsin.
In declaring his allegiance to LaFollette, Mr. Rawleigh laid down an
election policy which affords much food for thought and still more cause
for action. He declared: "What the business men of the United States
want now, more than anything else, is a free, open, and competitive mar-
ket in which to buy their raw materials and supplies, and the opportunity
to buy, sell, and compete on an equal basis in the greatest producing and
consuming market in the world."
In climbing up the rungs of the ladder leading to the heaven of La-
Follette's angels, we find a certain Richard W. Wolfe, formerly president
of the Cook County Real Estate Board, and an old-time Democrat. Why
Mr. Wolfe backs LaFollette is told in this fashion: "As a conservative
business man, and tax-paying citizen, I am in favor of Robert M. LaFol-
lette for president. He is not a radical, in the correct sense of the term.
He is rather a cautious, prudent, and conservative statesman."
It was not until Wheeler had received a telegram from Frank A. Van-
derlip, former president of the National City Bank, and a director of ship-
ping, railroad, realty, rubber corporations, and employers associations, that
he agreed to accept the vice-presidential nomination. Mr. Wheeler's com-
ment on the Vanderlip telegram is rather enlightening. LaFollette's run-
ning-mate then said: "Well, it seems that I have been drafted for serv-
ice. I'll agree.
An examination of the personnel of the "LaFollette for president"
Committee reveals an illuminating list of wealthy god-builders. We
find: W. T. Rawleigh, the millionaire manufacturer, as chairman; Dante
M. Pierce, the rich publisher of Pierce's Farm Weeklies, vice-chairman;
Julius Kespohl, a well-to-do merchant; James H. McGill, an Indiana man-
ufacturer; and R. F. Koenig, treasurer, a director of the Second National
Bank of Freeport, Illinois.
In Montana, James H. Baldwin, an attorney for several independent
oil corporations, and law partner of Wheeler, is to be the manager of the
Rudolph Spreckles the sugar king, and California banker, is another
Finally, Herman L. Ekern, who is now Wisconsin attorney-general,
by the grace of "Battling Bob," will direct the money-raising and finan-
cial affairs of the entire LaFollette campaign. This is the same Mr. Ekern
who was for many years an insurance lobbyist.
Still Tied to Old Parties
Senator LaFollette still has one foot — and it is a very firm foot at that
—in the two biggest capitalist parties.
Thanking Gompers for his endorsement of the "progressive" ticket,
LaFollette rejoiced that "after deliberate judgment the American Federa-
tion of Labor has adhered to Its traditional non partisan policy."
When Wheeler was contemplating his acceptance of the vice- presi-
dential nomination, he declared: "I have not quit the Democratic party.
I will spend most of the summer campaigning in Montana for Senator
Walsh and the Democratic state ticket." Wheeler will also wage a lively
campaign to secure the re-election of United States Senator David I. Walsh
of Massachusetts, another Democrat.
Mr. LaFollette is likewise coquetting with William Thompson and
Governor Small's boodle outfit in Illinois and scores of other regular Re-
pu^Mcans and Democrats throughout the country. This is the same Will-
iarL Hale Thompson who, as a delegate to the last Republican convention,
voted to nominate the millionaire chewing-gum manufacturer, William
Wrigley, Junior, as the Republican standard-bearer.
Perhaps the best proof that LaFollette has not yet cut his umbilical
cord of the Wall Street-owned Democratic and Republican parties is to be
found in the fact that he is planning to endorse in wholesale Democratic
and Republican congressional and senatorial candidates. One hundred
and sixty-two congressional seats are to be filled in twelve states. LaFol-
lette forces have announced that they will run their own candidates in,
at most, only sixty-eight constituencies now represented by Republican and
Democratic party office holders. In other words, in the majority of these
congressional districts, LaFollette will call on the workers and farmers
to continue voting for Republicans and Democrats.
Little Regard for Labor
In endorsing and supporting political candidates LaFollette has sel-
dom paid much attention to the opinion of the workers.
In Berger's Millwaukee Leader of October 22nd, 1920, we find a letter
by H. G. Hannahan, Socialist Party candidate for Congress in the ninth
Wisconsin district. This letter tells how LaFollette put up Thompson to
run for the United States Senate in opposition to Frank J. Weber, a Labor
leader. It goes on to say : "And here comes Bob LaFollette and his would-
be progressives and would-be union men and puts up Mr. Thompson. . .
That's dirty politics on the part of the progressives. . ."
Today, LaFollette and Wheeler are whole-hearted supporters of United
States Senator Thomas J. Walsh who has just been denounced by the an-
nual convention of the Montana State Federation of Labor for his anti-
Of the eleven chosen to serve as his joint executive campaign com-
mittee, only two spokesmen of the labor movement, at best, official labor
leaders, William H. Johnstone, of the International Association of Machin-
ists, and D. B. Robertson, of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and
Bnginemen, have been picked by LaFollette. This is the maximum extent
to which the Wisconsin Senator is ready to recognize the workers whose
millions of votes he is now seeking.
THE LaFollette forces are now making another one of those perennial
"final" efforts to elect only good, honest, progressives to public office.
But the story of the LaFollette regime in Wisconsin affords abundant
proof of the fact that the fundamental cause for corruption in govern-
ment lies in the private ownership of the means of production and ex-
change socially used. The honesty of the individual men at the helm of
the administration is only a secondary force in the governmental corrup-
tion taking root in this very economic relationship which the so-ca 1 Ml
progressive forces are seeking to perpetuate.
Bribery Handled with Silk Gloves
When LaFollette was making his entry into practical national
politics, he was offered a bribe ranging from five to fifteen hundred
dollars by United States Senator Philetus Sawyer of Wisconsin. A
certain Charles T. Pfeister, who held many positions of trust and con-
fidence in moneyed and manufacturing corporations, was charged
with bribery, fraudulent granting of franchises, and other crimes against
the public. Pfeister had Senator Sawyer try to bribe LaFollette to "fix
things" up with the judge who was to try his case, Judge Siebecker,
Of course, LaFollette refused the bribe and openly declared that Saw-
yer had attempted to buy him. But that is where this case of rank cor-
ruption ended. Sawyer was never prosecuted. LaFollette never did any-
thing to secure a criminal indictment against Sawyer. And Pfeister,
member of the firm of Pfeister-Vogel and Company, which has for years
been promoting a blacklist against organized labor while it was at the
same time supporting the so-called "good government" league, also
escaped harsh treatment. This bitter foe of the workingmen was hand-
led with silk gloves in the "Model Commonwealth." Recently Mr. Pfeister
became associated with Judge Backus, a member of the LaFollette ma-
chine, in the board of directors of the Milwaukee Sentinel, a Hearst
Not Free from Corruption
When LaFollette was governor of Wisconsin, he had the opportunity
he is now seeking to banish graft and corruption from government. How
successful LaFollette was as a purity crusader in his gubernatorial career
and to what extent LaFollette would bring "clean" government to Wash-
ington if elected president, can best be seen from the conditions which
prevailed in his state when he was governor.
If we examine the files of the Social-Democratic Herald, the pre-
decessor of the LaFollette mouthpiece, the Milwaukee Leader of today,
we find the following description of "clean" government under LaFol-
"The so-called half-breeds, or the followers of Robert M. LaFollette,
are by instinct, make-up, and past history as wicked a set of grafters
as their stalwart brethren ever dared to be. As a matter of fact, there
is a constant flux from the stalwarts to the half-breeds and vice-versa,
according to how the jobs and the graft that was to be gotten, reached
around — for the men who did not get any, immediately turned 'reformers.'
"Otto Seidel, one of the self-confessed grafters, ran on the half-breeds'
ticket last fall. And all in all, there is not the least doubt in anybody's
mind that the half-breeds are in no way or shape better than either the
Stalwarts or Democrats. Only they happen to have the district attorney
on their side." (August 12, 1905.)
And in the Milwaukee Sentinel of October 1, 1905, we are given the
following insight into the reign of honest government in the model com-
monwealth: "The grand jury which has been in session since early in
June, probing graft in city and county government, made its final report
to Judge Brazee of the Municipal Court at ten o'clock last night and was
discharged. Twency-four indictments were returned with its final report.
"One of the sensations of the evening was the indictment against
William Murphy. It will be remembered that several days ago Murphy
(former alderman), wrote a letter to the grand jury saying he was ready
to furnish it with some information. He was summoned, but as soon
as the jury ascertained that he had evidence of bribery to furnish against
two 'reformers' and LaFollette leaders, the jury excused him. He told
his experience to the newspapers, and the jury, finding public sentiment
aroused, thought best to let the former alderman testify, especially since
for weeks the district attorney had been trying to get Murphy to tes-
tify on graft.
"Murphy went before the jury and said that one of the so-called 're-
formers' had given him $400.00 for his vote for the "Wells tunnel grants.
He also charged that another 'reforer' had given him, through his agent,
$50.00 for his vote for a sidetrack."
The orgy of corruption in LaFollette's Wisconsin commonwealth, is
summed up in this fashion by the Social-Democratic Herald, of October
"The bribery, stealing and open debauchery in Milwaukee was such
that even the bribers could not stand it any longer. Public opinion com-
pelled the district attorney about two and a half year ago to ask the
criminal court for. a grand jury. Since then several indictments have
been returned. Over a hundred city and county officials have been in-
dicted. They have been indicted for almost any crime that public offi-
cials could possibly commit."
Backs Capitalist Politicians
In essence, LaFollette's political machine is like the political ma-
chines of the corrupt and reactionary cliques dominated by the biggest
capitalist interests. The Wisconsin senator has been a rather glib talker
for many years against big whips, bosses, and misleaders utilizing their
hold on the government either for service to big corporate interests or
for their own ends. Looking into LaFollette's actual doings over a span
of years in politics and power, we find that his machine has served to
build gods and make bosses out of as many tools of the big exploiters
as have the machines of the Democratic and Republican parties.
Thus the Milwaukee Leader of March 14, 1918, unfolds the following
tale of "Battling Bob" placing himself squarely behind the worst type of
employing class politicians and tools:
"SO/ Senator Robert Marion LaFollette, according to the Free Press,
places himself squarely back of the candidacy of James Thompson.
"That's an old story. 'Bob' placed himself squarely back of Isaac M.
Stephenson in his day. 'Bob' placed himself squarely back of Jim David-
son a little later. 'Bob' placed himself squarely back of Francis E.
McGovern. 'Bob' placed himself also squarely back of Irvine Lenroot,
and 'Bob' placed himself squarely back of Paul O. Husting as a fair-
"We could mention a dozen other prominent politicians in Wis-
consin behind whom Robert M. LaFollette 'placed himself squarely.' With
the exception of those who have died — all of these proteges of 'Bob' are
great jingoes, reactionaries, and profiteer patriots today..."
Among the progressive saviors or honest men in capitalist govern-
ment with whom LaFollette associated himself at one time or another,
in his program or whom the LaFollette machine supported are the fol-
lowing men who blossomed out into supine servants and vigorous de-
fenders of the blackest employing class interests: Albert J. Beveridge, of
Indiana; Albert B. Cummins, of Iowa, author of the Esch-Cummins act;
Hiram W. Johnson, of California; the fake Teapot Dome investigator,
Senator Irvine L. Lenroot, of Wisconsin; Miles Poindexter, Washington;
Gilford Pinchot, now governor of Pennsylvania; William Allen White, of
Kansas, and Medill McCormick of International Harvester Trust fame.
Finally, at this very moment, the differences between the cogs in
the wheels of the LaFollette machine and the active supporters of, and
workers for, Coolidge in Wisconsin, are so thin and so vague, that Mr.
Arthur Evans, was led to the following view of the situation in the Chi-
cago Tribune of August 15:
"Thus the Coolidge movement in Wisconsin is being directed largely
by elements quite as closely identified with the progressive legislation
that made the state famous ten and twenty years ago, as were the
present LaFollette captains, and even closer."
WHO OWNS "PROGRESSIVE" WISCONSIN
IN a survey of "Who is Who in Congress?" recently made by us, we
found that the employing class has at least three hundred and twenty-
three out of the four hundred and thirty-five congressmen who are
either directly or indirectly associated with, or serving the ruling clique.
In the Senate, the big interests have at least seventy-nine out of the
ninety-six members on their side, either thru economic or social con-
Bosses Own Government
In the state of Wisconsin, where LaFollette is the big political boss,
the situation is nearly the same as in Washington, where Coolidge is the
chief executive. On the basis of an investigation made by the Wisconsin
State Federation of Labor, as reported in its 1921 convention proceedings,
we find that there were at that date in the Wisconsin Senate, one auc-
tioneer, four bankers, one cheesemaker, one contractor, one doctor, five
farm owners, one insurance man, two real estate men, two retired cap-
italists , two publishers and journalists, one lumber man, four manufac-
turers, two merchants, one public service agent, two salesmen, eight
lawyers, and only four mechanics.
At the same time there were represented in the assembly the follow-
ing occupational divisions: one architect, four bankers, two clerks, three
contractors, three corporation officials, one doctor, forty-four farm owners,
one hotel keeper, two publishers, ten lawyers, one live stock buyer, four
lumbermen, seven merchants, four real estate dealers, six retired cap-
italists, three salesmen, two insurance men, one fisherman, and only
Thus we find that out of a total personnel of forty-two senators,
there are only four members of the working class, and that out of a hun-
dred and ten assembly men, there are only seven members of the work-
The State Federation of Labor, which is extremely friendly to and
a strong supporter of LaFollette, characterized this ownership of the
state government by the employing class by saying that except for about
nine Senators; "The rest were entirely out of harmony with labor
program and should be classed as representing the interests of capital."
Regarding the Assembly, the State Federation of Labor declared:
"Sixty-five members may be classed as ultra-reactionary and absolutely
controlled by special interests."
Serves Middle Class
In the view of Mr. John Ballard as expressed in the Outlook for
September 5, 1923, this employing class ownership of the senate and
assembly in the state of Wisconsin is to be explained as follows: "Busi-
ness of the kind that is represented by manufacturers' associations is in
the main against LaFollette and his policies, but business in the person
of the man with moderate capital is with 'Bob' both in little towns and
"To a lesser but steadily increasing extent the same middle class
emancipation from old party ties has gone on in the other states over
which the LaFollette influence has spread."
Workers' Enemies Given Jobs
The LaFollette machine has on many occasions appointed corpora-
tion lobbyists to important posts in the government where they could
do most damage against the working men.
In his appointment of Eugene Wengert as district attorney of Milwau-
kee and George B. Skogme as assistant district attorney of the same
city, Governor Blaine flatly disregarded the recommendations of the or-
ganized workers of the state.
Thus we And the Qfflcers' Reports to The Wisconsin State Federa-
tion of Labor Convention, held at Wisconsin Rapids, July 15-18, 1924,
declare: "We regret to say that no recognition of labor has been given
in the selection of lawyers to fill the important office of judge. In this
regard labor was encouraged to entertain a hope, but was finally ig-
Workers Disregarded by Legislature
In LaFollettania, as in the other states where the capitalist class is
supreme, the legislature has little regard for the needs and demands of
the working class. From the latest available Officers' Report to the
Wisconsin Federation of Labor Convention held at Superior on July 17-20,
1923, we learn of the following frankly anti-labor attitude of the state as-
sembly and senate:
"The legislature as a whole, could not be termed a real progressive
body. The majority of the senate lived up to its reputation of conserv-
atism and seemed to take delight in defeating progressive legislation."
Among the leading labor measures killed by this LaFollette legis-
lature were bills providing for an eight hour day on public works, the
eight-hour day on all state printing, the extention of the one day in
seven rest law, an act requiring railroad car shops or other concerns
manufacturing or repairing cars to provide buildings protecting em-
ployees from heat, rain, cold, snow and so forth, an employment compen-
sation measure, an old age pension bill, a bill to abolish private detective
agencies, and the State Federation of Labor measure aiming to limit the
hours of work per day in mills, factories, and manufacturing establish-
Courts Used Against Workers
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has been particularly hostile to the
workers. Every annual report of the officers of the State Federation of
Labor abounds in evidence of this hostility. We recall the instance where
a boy, 6 years of age, Jerome Ptack, met his death thru the negligence of
one Kuetemeyer. A jury rendered a verdict in favor of the father of
the boy for $3,500. The judge reduced the sum to $1800. The Supreme
Court acting on the appeal of the insurance company, further reduced
the amount to $1,000. The State Federation of Labor, commenting on this
action of the judges against the jury, declared in its specially prepared
pamphlet on the case entitled "The Wisconsin Supreme Court's Queer
Slant on Life."
"The Wisconsin State Federation of Labor cannot dictate to the
Supreme Court of Wisconsin what its constitution of law shall be, but
it can protest against an illegal and inhumane principle being given the
force of law; and it vigorously protests the invasion by the court of the
constitutional right of trial by jury."
One of the main reasons given by the Supreme Court for reducing
the amount rendered in the first verdict was the fact that the father
had intended to send the boy to school. Consequently, the court
reasoned, the father was not deprived of any income thru the death of his
son. In the eyes of these judges, it was a crime for the father to plan
to send his son to school. Apparently workers must be penalized for
attempting to secure an education.
Costly Litigation Hurts Workingmen
Protesting against the burden placed on the workers thru costly
litigation in courts, the Wisconsin State Federation of Labor convention
held on July 15 to 18 of this year, declared: "The whole matter has
been in litigation for years, and we do not know how many more years
these cases will be dragged. Compare these with the rapidity with which
courts act in the issuance of injunctions in labor disputes."
The workers have suffered especially in compensation cases. We
learn from a statement by R. G. Knutson, member of the State Industrial
Commission, appearing in the report of the Wisconsin State Federation of
Labor for 1922, that "In the eleven years in which the compensation act
has been enforced, during which time over 100 appeals have been taken
by workmen, there has not been a single case in which an injured work-
man ever got a cent thru an appeal." "
Injunction Menace Serious
In the 1921 State Federation of Labor convention proceedings we find
that great stress is laid on the extent to which the workers have been
suffering in LaFollette's "model commonwealth". We quote in part a
special anti-injunction resolution adopted by this convention:
"Whereas, four of our brothers, members of labor unions of Rhine-
lander, are confined in the county jails of Oneida and and Langlade coun-
ties, having been sentenced to imprisonment on charges of contempt of
court by Circuit Judge Reid, following the issuance of an injunction
against the paper mill workers, and in behalf of the Rhinelander Paper
"Resolved, by the Wisconsin Federation of Labor, in convention as-
sembled, July 19, 1921, in the city of Manitowoc, that we extend hearty
greetings to these brothers who have preferred prison bars to submis-
sion to autocratic impositions."
Finally, in 1922, the State Federation of Labor was compelled to
pass a special resolution against the courts of Wisconsin along the fol-
"Whereas, we are of the belief that some judges hold shares of
stock and have financial interests in companies, firms, and corpora-
"Whereas, by the holding of such shares of stock and having such
financial interests they are very apt to be prejudiced in their judgments
and decisions therefore be it
"Resolved, that it is the sense of this convention that such a condi-
tion is not consistent with justice, especially in cases arising out of
strikes, such as injunctions and assault and battery cases."
THE WORKERS IN WISCONSIN
IF working conditions are to be accepted as a sound criterion of gen-
uine progressivism, then LaFollette's Wisconsin experiment is a sham
and a delusion to the laboring masses.
Low Wages and Long Hours
According to the findings of the latest, 1919, census of manufactures,
the average monthly cost of labor, or wage per month, in the manufac-
turing industries in t^e United States is $96.50. Wisconsin falls well
below this average wage for the country as a whole, with an average
monthly wage of only $91.69. Thus Wisconsin holds the unenviable twen-
ty-ninth place in the ranks of the monthly wages paid the working men
of the various states.
This low wage is significantly painful when one realizes that it is in
no way due to a lack of industrial development. In Wisconsin 92.6 per-
cent of the workers engaged in manufacuring industries are employed
by corporations. Wisconsin ranks fourth in the United States in the
proportion of workers employed in manufacturing industries owned by
corporations, but ranks only twenty-ninth in the average monthly wage
paid to these working men.
Since this investigation was made Wisconsin wages have declined
sharply. For all industries, according to the April, 1924, United States
Monthly Labor Review, the average weekly wage in the Badger state
was $26.87 in December, 1920. Today, according to the June Report of
the Wisconsin State Industrial Commission, the average weekly wage for
all workers is only $23.93.
' While the wages are low, the hours of labor are long in Wisconsin.
For the United States as a whole the proportion of wage-workers in the
manufacturing industries having forty-eight hours or less of labor per
week is 48.6 percent. But in LaFollette's "Model Commonwealth," only
31.3 percent of the workers engaged in the manufacturing industries
have a forty-eight hour week or the average eight-hour day. Tho tenth
in the number of men engaged in the manufacturing industries of the
country, Wisconsin ranks only thirty-ninth in the proportion of its work-
ers in these industries laboring forty-eight hours a week or under.
Open Shop Movement Powerful
Wisconsin is one of the banner states of the open shop movement of
the country. Let us consult the secret minutes of the regular quarterly
meeting of the Milwaukee Employers' Council, held on June 8, 1921.
"The Milwaukee Employers' Council is at present composed of twenty-
eight industrial groups, representing a total of six hundred and sixty-two
plants and approximately sixty thousand employes on wages.
"... All the principal industries are represented and we are organ-
izing new groups every month. At present the council represents con-
siderably more than half of Milwaukee's industrial strength.
"J. M. Bell, Sercetary-Manager."
This report goes on to boast of playing an active part in the fight
against the job printers for a forty-four hour week and in the strikes of
the tailors and sheet metal workers.
Turning to the May, 1924, "Members' Supplement — Freedom in Em-
ployment" published by the Milwaukee Employers* Council, we further
find that: "The printing industry is now overwhelmingly open shop in
Milwaukee, and in due course we expect to see the allied photo-engraving
and electrotyping industries follow suit. We shall not rest until this is
This same bulletin then announces: "In Milwaukee we actually have
a large proportion of open shop in building construction; perhaps sixty-
And its June, 1924, supplement proudly declares: "The Milwaukee
Branch, National Metal Trades, Association, is apparently leading the
country in its apprenticeship work. This kind of work is of the utmost
importance to the open shop."
Smashing the Unions
The terrific drive these open shoppers have been waging against the
workers was roundly denounced by the State Federation of Labor in its
1923 convention in a special resolution from which we produce in part:
"The railroad owners have set out to wreck the shop crafts unions by
organizing scab unions of so-called company associations of employes,
and are endeavoring to compel all shop crafts workers to join these
scab unions, by threatening discharge and visiting other punishment
upon the workers for failing to join these scab unions."
Private detective agencies also do a flourishing business in Wiscon-
Testifying before the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commissioner on
October 17, 1921, Walter G. Russel, the head of the scab-herding agency
stated that his firm now employs twelve hundred detectives, and an-
swering the question as to what line of work these agents do, said: "If
you ask, do we do strike work, yes. Do we put men in factories to report
information to the heads of firms? I would say yes. Do we have men in
Allied with Open Shoppers
The progressive LaFollette government in Wisconsin covertly and
overtly aids and abets anti-labor activities.
Describing the proceedings of the State Federation of Labor Conven-
tion, the Milwaukee Sentinel for July 22, 1922, said: "Administrative
bodies were, flayed for alleged failure to prosecute employers who, labor
says, violate the provision compelling the advertisement of the fact that
a strike is in progress when labor is imported to fill strikers' places."
And at its 1921 convention the State Federation of Labor was forced
to protest against open shop construction in the erection of high schools.
The special resolution against this policy of the government reads:
"The carpenters of the Fox River Valley District Council consisting
of those cities from Fond du Lac to Green Bay, inclusive, have been on
st\-ike since the first of May, fighting against the so-called 'Open Shop'
which the contractors are endeavoring to impose upon them."
Trade Union Movement Weak
The, Wisconsin trade union movement, tho on many occasions show-
ing hopeful sign of militancy and genuine progressivism, is lamentably
weak in numbers and strength to resist the aggression of the highly or-
ganized ppen shoppers of the state.
In the year 1919-1920, before the fierce open shop drive was launched,
the Wisconsin State Federation of Labor had a total affiliated member-
ship of only 51,645. Of these a maximum of 30,977 were employed in the
manufacturing industries of the state. At this time, there were, accord-
ing to the findings of the United States Census of Manufactures, 263,949
wage earners employed in the manufacturing industries of Wisconsin.
Compare these figures with the fact that the Milwaukee Employers'
Council alone represented sixty thousand or more than half of the in-
dustrial strength of the leading industrial city in the state.
Of course, even this strength of the trade unions was reduced by the
vicious open shop drive of 1921, as can be seen from the following report
on membership made to the 1922 convention of the State Federation of
"The affiliated unions show a decrease of but sixteen percent in
membership at the close of the year, as compared with the same months
of the previous year. . . .
"The fiscal year has closed with many unpleasant memories to the
workers and their families due to unemployment and the desperate
efforts of capital to annihilate their organizations. ..."
This is the freedom enjoyed by the workers in LaFollette's "Model
RURAL AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS IN BADGER STATE
JUST as Wisconsin ranks very low in the wages paid its industrial
workers, so it does in the wages paid its agricultural laborers.
Our analysis of the December, 1923, issue of Weather, Crops and Mar-
kets, published by the Department of Agriculture, reveals that there
were at least fourteen states paying higher average monthly wages to
their farm laborers in 1923 than Wisconsin did. This is the pay for rural
laborers without board.
For the average monthly pay to farm laborers with board, our in-
vestigation shows that in 1923, in at least thirteen states, the workers
received higher remuneration than they did in Wisconsin.
LaFollette Program Fails Farmers
And the farmers, whose special friend LaFollette says he is, have
met with continued adversity in Wisconsin.
On Aug. 5, 1924, Edward Nordman, Wisconsin state commissioner,
of markets, delivered an address before the State Retailers' Association,
in which he made the following significant remarks: "Agricultural land
is rapidly passing out of the ownership of the dirt farmer and into the
hands of the men who use it as a safe place to invest their money. This
practice forces the independent farm owner to settle on poorer land or
in out-of-the-way places."
Our analysis of the 1920 United States Census findings on agricul-
ture discloses how the farming masses of Wisconsin are being driven
to adversity at an even faster pace than the farmers of the country as
Farm Mortgages Increase
From 1910 to 1920 the proportion of farms free from mortgages in
the United States as a whole declined from 65. C per cent to 52.8 per cent
At the same time the Wisconsin farms free from mortgages declined
from 48.3 per cent to 36.2 per cent in 1920.
But here is a matter of serious concern to the farmers in LaFollette's
state. In the decade 1910 to 1920 the proportion of mortgaged farms in
the country as a whole, rose from 33.2 per cent to 37.2 per cent. In the
same period the proportion of mortgaged farms in Wisconsin rose from
51.1 per cent in 1910 to 59.9 per cent in 1920. Thus we see that the pro-
portion of farms free from mortgages is much smaller in Wisconsin than
in the country as a whole, and that the proportion of mortgaged farms
is much greater in Wisconsin than it is in the country as a whole.
Further light on the increasing hardships of the Wisconsin farmers
is shed by the findings of the 1920 census as to farm debts. For the
United States as a whole, the proportion of debt to the value of the
farm increased from 27.3 per cent in 1910 to 29.1 per cent in 1920. But
in Wisconsin the ratio of debt to the value of the farm increased from
34.3 per cent in 1910 to 37.8 per cent in 1920. It is evident that the Wis-
consin farmers are falling into debt more rapidly and are today in rela-
tively greater debt than the farmers of the country as a whole.
Mortgage Debt Rises
The total amount of mortgage debt for Wisconsin farmers rose from
about $150,000,000 in 1910 to more than $350,000,000 in 1920.
The farming masses of this great "model commonwealth" are also
paying an exorbitant price for these difficult conditions in the form of
oppressive taxes. From a tax study made in twenty-six states for the
year 1919, by the Department of Agriculture, we find that the part of
the net cash rent from the farms paid out in taxes by the Wisconsin
farmers is higher than in twenty-four of the twenty-six states investi-
gated. Only one state, Pennsylvania, shows a higher proportion of the
net cash rent being devoured by taxes than does Wisconsin.
"Since that year taxes have generally increased, while rents have
been reduced," says the Department of Agriculture in its summary of
Social Conditions Unsatisfactory
For the last fiscal year industrial accidents showed a startling in-
crease in the United States. The American Association for Labor
Legislation recently made an investigation of this tendency. Its findings,
after hearing from one-half the compensation states, indicate that in
1923 the increase in industrial accidents in Wisconsin was 27.4 per cent.
Wisconsin had a higher rate of industrial accident increase than eleven
other states investigated. All in all, only nineteen states replied to the
queries of the American Association for Labor Legislation.
From the summary of the provisional birth and mortality figures for
1923, recently issued by the Department of Commerce, we learn that
Wisconsin has little to be proud of in this field. No less than twenty
states show at least as good a record as, and eighteen of these show an
even better record than Wisconsin for the last year in the death rates,
in the proportion of deaths per one thousand of the population. Wiscon-
sin is one of the twenty-five states in which death rates for 1923 were
higher than for 1922.
Workers' Education Neglected
Wisconsin has always boasted of its great educational system. But
the workers have enjoyed very little of the advantages afforded by La
Follette's generosity in this respect. From the "Instruction in Wiscon-
sin Schools; Report of the General Executive Board," 1920 convention
of the State Federation of Labor, we learn that:
"For 7,200 university students the state of Wisconsin in 1919-1920
spent $4,000,000. For more than 20,000 employed children between the
ages of 14 and 17, the state spent one-eighth as much."
This extreme disproportion certainly does not betray a whole-hearted
interest on the part of the LaFollette machine in the education of the
Unsanitary Labor Conditions
Nor are the sanitary conditions of employment even up to the mark
set for them by the various state laws. So conservative a paper as the
Milwaukee Journal in its issue of December 1, 1920, tells us that: Wis-
consin factories are not living up to the state sanitary safety code, ac-
cording to a statement by Mr. George P. Hambrecht, chairman of the
Wisconsin Industrial Commission, following complaints from Milwaukee
workers that unsanitary conditions prevail in some workshops."
In the Wisconsin labor camps the conditions are even more deplor-
able, as has been shown in the investigation made by the Wisconsin In-
dustrial Commission, "Labor Camps in Wisconsin."
Child Labor Record Poor
Wisconsin's child labor reiord is poor. Tho it is the tenth state in
the number of men gainfully engaged in manufacturing industries, it is
the fifth state in the total number of children under sixteen years of
age employed in these industries. New York state which has the great-
est number employed in manufacturing industries has only 6,288 children
working in these industries, while Wisconsin has 6,906. Incidentally,
the total number of gainfully employed in manufacturing industries in
New York is more than four times the total number employed in these
industries in Wisconsin.
From 1910 to 1920, according to the latest investigation prepared by
the Department of Commerce, entitled "Children in Gainful Occupations"
the number employed in the country as a whole (ten to fifteen years of
age) decreased 46.7 per cent. At the same time the decrease in the total
number of children ten to fifteen years of age, engaged in these gainful
occupations in Wisconsin, was only 34.4 per cent.
In the East North Central group of states in which Wisconsin falls,
the average decrease of children employed in gainful occupations was
42.8 per cent, or greater than it was in LaFollette's own state. In thirty-
three states the rate of decrease of children gainfully employed in all
occupations was greater in the last decade than it was in Wisconsin.
The percentage of the total children employed between the years
of ten and seventeen is greater in Wisconsin than in twenty-seven other
Milwaukee, Wisconsin's industrial center, is among the cities having
a hundred thousand or more inhabitants, and ten per cent more of their
child population ten to fifteen years of age gainfully employed.
Obviously LaFollette's much over-estimated "Wisconsin plan" has
proved a signal failure insofar as its effectiveness to remove the inherent
evils of capitalism is concerned.
LAFOLLETTE ACCEPTS THE IMPERIALIST WAR
BEFORE the United States entered the World War, the Wisconsin
"progressive" wizard held the belief that it was not America's busi
ness to join the infernal fray. Once the war was declared, however, La
Follette accepted active American participation as a fact. He then lined
up to support loyally the prosecution of the war and to hasten its vic-
torious conclusion for the capitalist class in whose behalf it was fought.
LaFollette differed with other supporters of the imperialist conflict
only as to method, but not as to the waging of the war itself. The Wis-.
consin senator's attitude toward the war was the same as his present
attitude to exploitation of the working class by the employers. LaFol-
lette is not opposed to the system of capitalist exploitation. He is op-
posed to some of its methods and differs from the Lodges, the Smoots,
the Coolidges, and the Davises only as to methods of exploiting the
Voted War Credits
Not only did LaFollette not fight against the war to make the world
safe for plutocracy, but he even voted all war credits. And dollars, it
must be remembered, are the sinews of *all capitalist wars. Then, tho
he opposed the armed ship bill before the United States joined the Allies,
he did not speak on this measure, did not utter a word against it in the
LaFollette Peldged Self for War to Utmost
When one thinks of the suffering of the Communists, the revolution-
ary workers, in every country for their opposition to the imperialist
bloodfest, he is immediately convinced that LaFollette did everything
but fight against the World War. There is an unbridgeable chasm be-
tween the war records of Robert M. LaFollette of the Republican Party
of Wisconsin and Karl Liebknecht of the Communist Party of Germany.
Listening to State Senator Henry A. Huber's speech before the Wiscon-
sin upper house on February 23, 1918, we hear him say in defense of La
Follette's war record: "War having been legally declared, LaFollette
immediately accepted it as a fact. He set about to make effective war.
He believed it to be wise to make war as effective as possible that it
might be the sooner ended. . . ." This was exactly the reasoning of
the capitalist super-patriots and the profiteers.
And turning to an address delivered by LaFollette before the United
States senate, as reported in the Congressional Record (Page 681) of
April 14, 1917, we read: "I do not desire to hamper our own effort to
speedily prepare to prosecute this deplorable war."
Ten days later LaFollette took occasion to tell the senate (See Cong.
Rec. April 27, 1917; Page 1362): "First, all our naval and military re-
sources should be concentrated on the solving of the submarine prob-
Pleading that the country arm itself to the teeth, the "progressive"
leader who would now have us believe that he fought against the war,
thus implored his colleagues in the senate (Cong. Rec. Oct. 6, 1917; Page
7,887): "It is said by many for whose opinions I have profound respect,
and whose motives I know to be sincere, that 'we are in this war and
must go thru to the end.' That is true.
"There is, and of course can be, no real difference of opinion con-
cerning the duty of the citizen to discharge to the last limit whatever
obligation the war lays upon him.
"Our young men are being taken by the hundreds of thousands for
the purpose of waging this war. . . . Nothing must be left undone
for their protection. They must have the best army, ammunition, and
equipment that money can buy."
Here we have a song very much in sympathy with the chant sung to
the working men by the Garys, the Schwabs, the Morgans, and the Na-
tional Security and Defense Leagues.
LaFollettism Not Opposed to Imperialist Wars
Scrutinizing Senator LaFollette's voting record during the last im-
perialist war, one sees that the self-appointed progressive Messiah is no
enemy of capitalist aggression when it is wrapped in such empty phrases
as "war for defense" and "safety and security of the country."
In a speech he made at Port Washington on July 18, 1917, LaFollette
plainly said: "I didn't believe in waging war to collect Mr. Morgan's
money for him." Yet, having no illusions about the character of the
bloody struggle, LaFolIette voted for 55 out of 60 war measures, prior
and subsequent to this declaration.
The Wisconsin senator at no time proposed to take away from the
imperialist diplomats and the financiers their powers to make war. At
most LaFolIette has sought to give the masses who fight the wars a voice
along with the intriguing capitalist statesmen and the profit-hungry boss-
es. Thus we find him say in his Political Philosophy (p. 205): "Why not
let those who must pay have something to say? Why not let the people
themselves, on whom the burden of war falls, have a voice — some direct
expression — along with finance and diplomacy, in determining whether
there shall be war, or whether there shall not be war?"
Not Really Against Conscription
Likewise, LaFollette's opposition to the conscription bill before it
became law was only to the method pursued by the employing class in
murdering the sons of the workers and poor farmers and not to their
right to call upon the working masses to fight their imperialist battles.
In the Wisconsin state senate Hon. H. A. Huber, thus on February 23,
1918, defended and explained LaFollette's opposition to conscription on
the basis of military efficiency:
"Had men been enlisted in an orderly manner as needed, they could
have been equipped and supplied as called, and we would not now have a
million men drawn away from essential industries awaiting transporta-
tion that cannot be fully provided for more than a year yet. LaFolIette
was right as events now amply show. Notwithstanding he opposed the
conscription act, upon its passage, LaFolIette immediately counselled full
compliance with the law."
Little Hostility to Capitalism
Nor was LaFolIette dangerously hostile to the big employing inter-
ests in the revenue measures proposed by him to raise more than enough
money with which to finance the war.
In his discussion of the income tax bill before the senate, he said:
"The public must pay enough for the products to furnish a good round
profit for the capital actually invested." (Cong. Rec. September 3, 1917;
Not only did LaFolIette differ merely as to the method of financing
the imperialist war, but he advocated his own plan for adoption of which
he argued on the ground that it would safeguard the spirit of war among
the masses. Thus the Wisconsin senator made his plea for his plan as
follows before his colleagues in Washington:
"I tell them one and all, that by their refusal to justly tax war prof-
its and excessive incomes, they are destroying the war spirit among the
hundred million people of this country, which is absolutely necessary if
we are to acquit ourselves even creditably in this great war." (Cong.
Rec. September 10, 1917; p. 6861).
Tax Rich to Breed War Spirit
Finally, LaFolIette demanded that the peace terms of the capitalist
war be stated not because he might thus expose the true character of
the conflict and throw a monkey wrench into the imperialist war ma-
chinery, but because he was convinced that such a statement by the
ruling class of this country would tend to win the masses more firmly
to the war campaign. We need but turn to the speech delivered by La
Follette to the United States Senate on October 6, 1917, to see this truth:
"Such a course (a declaration of the purposes of the war) would also
immeasurably, I believe, strengthen our military force in this country,
because when the objects of this war are clearly stated and the people
approve of these objects, they will give to the war a popular support it
will never otherwise receive."
Such was and is the opposition of LaFolIette to capitalist imperial-
ism and war. And such is the support the workers and dispossessed
farmers should give the Wisconsin senator in return on the basis of his
LAFOLLETTE DOES HIS BIT
WHEN we look into LaFollette's voting record on the sundry war
bills considered and enacted by Congress from this date to the
conclusion of the war we find that he voted for fifty-five out of sixty
Our detailed examination of LaFollette's war record follows:
LaFollette's Pro-War Record
The Badger State Senator voted for the appropriation of $163,841,000
for the general deficiency, one hundred million of which were imme-
diately placed at the disposal of the president for any war purposes he
might decide upon.
The Wisconsin senator supported a bill to appropriate $147,363,928
for "sundry and civil expenses of the government."
Voted for an appropriation of $1,344,896 for the military academy.
Supported the 1918 army appropriation totalling $273,046,322.
LaFolIette votes "YEA" on "A'i act to authorize an issue of bonds
to meet expenditures for the national security and defense, and for the
purpose of assisting in the prosecution of the war, to extend credit to
foreign governments and for other purposes." The total amount voted
at this time was $5,063,054,460. Three billions went to the Allied im-
perialists as loans.
Supports the measure to increase the midshipmen of the navy.
Votes for raising the age limit for officers of the naval reserve from
35 to 50 years.
Favors an act providing for the issuance of rifles and equipment to
the home guards.
LaPollette votes "YEA" on an amendment to draft bill for volunteers
to protect the border and on an amendment to call for 500,000 volun-
teers and draft any deficiency after ninety days.
Supported a resolution empowering President Wilson to take over
the German and Austrian ships in American harbors.
Votes for the Administration's amendment to the Federal Reserve
Tho voting against the Espionage act, LaFollette supported an
amendment to the Espionage act, giving the president power to make
rules preventing the disclosure of movements of vessels and other war
activities, but providing that this should not be construed as preventing
the criticism of the acts or policies of the government.
Votes for proposal to increase the enlisted strength of the navy,
from eighty-seven to one hundred and fifty thousand, and the marine
corps from 17,400 to 30,000.
Supports McCumber amendment to organize a board to devise ways
and means of guarding against submarine attack.
Favors a resolution permitting the Red Cross to erect temporary
buildings in Washington.
Supports a bill appropriating $3,281,094,541 for war expenses." This
was the largest single appropriation ever made up to that time by any
government in the world. Of this sum, $405,000,000 was for building
a shipping fleet.
LaFollette supports an act to increase power of Interstate Commerce
Commission in respect to car service. Favors an act appropriating $45,-
150,000 to insure vessels and their cargoes.
Votes in favor of naval appropriations as provided for in H. R.
10,854. The bill was unanimously agreed to.
In order to secure better control of transportation during the war,
LaFollette favored a bill to increase the personnel of the Interstate
Commerce Commission and also for an amendment to prevent the in-
crease of railroad rates until approved by the Commission.
Votes in favor of an act to encourage retired officers to re-enter the
army in the engineering corps.
Votes for the Food Survey Bill, carrying appropriations of $11,336,-
000 for sundry purposes.
Votes for bill providing for condemning land for military purposes.
LaFollette favors bill giving president power to direct that war ship-
ments should have priority over all other shipments.
Favors bill granting officers of the Public Health Service serving on
coast guard vessels in time of war, or enlisted in the navy or army, the
same pensions as army or navy officers.
LaFollette supports measure for National Security and Defense by
stimulating agriculture and appropriating for same $11,346,000.
LaFollette allows the senate to pass measures providing for the
drafting of the state militia and the National Guard into the Federal ser-
vice, without a roll call.
Supports the establishment of a permanent aviation station for mili-
tary and naval forces in the harbor of San Diego.
Votes for the Food Control Bill, appropriating $162,500,000.
Supports an appropriation of $640,000,000 for aviation.
Favors a bill to relieve entrymen of desert land when they enter
the naval or military service.
Asserting that money is more needed for war purposes, LaFollette
votes against the River and Harbor Appropriation Bill, during the war.
Supports amendment giving president power to limit expenditures
on rivers and harbors during war, to actual necessities. Amendment
LaFollette supports a bill to provide an air craft station for the
navy at the cost of $150,000.
Votes for an act to secure the secrecy of patents on war inventions
during the conflict.
Favors the organization of an air craft board and a hundred thou-
sand dollar appropriation for the same.
Supports an act called "The Trading with the Enemy Act" making
it unlawful to carry on business with an alien enemy.
Supports an act providing for the appointment of twenty chaplains
at large for the army.
Votes for the bill authorizing the second bond issue giving the secre-
tary of the treasury, with the approval of the president, the power to
borrow $7,558,945,640 for war expenditures, and to issue other certifi-
cates of indebtedness, up to four billion dollars and war saving stamps
up to two billion dollars.
Several amendments proposed by LaFollette to limit the rate of in-
terest to four per cent, to issue bonds in sums of twenty dollars or mul-
tiples thereof, and to tax incomes derived from bonds, were defeated.
LaFollette supports the second big appropriation for the war, total-
Supports bill permitting public land affidavits to be taken before
Votes for act providing insurance for military forces and for injured
soldiers and dependents involving an appropriation of $176,250,000.
Supports a measure providing for commissions in the army for medi-
cal and dental corps.
Votes to fix commutation price of the navy ration.
Votes to establish ratings for artisans in the army.
Supports an act empowering the president to use cavalry as artillery
Favors a bill permitting vessels of foreign registration engaged in
coastwise shipping to be admitted to American registration.
Supports an act granting six months' pay as a gratuity to families
of deceased officers and making same applicable to all retired officers
re-entering active service.
Favors act extending morality and liquor sections of army draft law
to the navy.
LaFollette supports a bill facilitating the purchase of land for the
From the close of August to about mid-September, 1917, Congress
was busy with the war revenue measure.
During all this time LaFollette was feverishly at work in an effort
to raise the maximum sum of money with which to wage the war on the
basis of levying higher tax rates on war profits and big incomes rather ,
than on the incomes of the middle and lower groups of capitalists. La
Follette's proposals in this direction were of course, defeated by the
spokesmen of the uppermost crust of the capitalist class. But none of
LaFollette's amendments aimed at preventing the imperialists from
getting war funds. He aimed only at transferring the burdens of war
to the biggest capitalists from the lower group of exploiters.
MODEL COMMONWEALTH"— A PACEMAKER
WISCONSIN, the state which LaFollette always holds up as an example
of what a government ought to be to and for the working and farm-
ing masses, is one of the leading militarist states in the Union.
On examining the annual reports of the Chief of the Militia Bureau
we find that only two states in the Union, ^diana and Wisconsin, have
doubled their National Guard strength between 1915 and 1922 In 1915
there were 3,291 in the Wisconsin National Guard. By 1922 the number
rose to 6,900. Wisconsin is one of the four states that has gone even
further than required by the National Defense Act.
This campaign to maintain Wisconsin as a pacemaker in militarism
is further shown in the quarterly report for the period ending December
31 1923 made by State Engineer, John G. D. Mack. Here we learn that
four new Wisconsin armories have just been completed and located at
Abbotsford, Clintonville, Milwaukee and Hudson.
Describing the mushroom growth of militarism and its effects m La-
Follette's political satrapy, Mr. William T. Evjue said editorially in the
Capital Times, July 28, 1924:
"Up at Camp Douglas the annual fan-fare of Wisconsin s military
display is in progress. Thousands of young men are marching. The bands
are playing. The guns are booming. The reviewing stands beam as the
boys go marching by. . . .
"Do you know, Mr. and Mrs. Citizen of Wisconsin, that Wisconsin is
today the seventh state in the Union in militarism? Do you know that in
spite of the big cut made in appropriations in the last legislature that
there are only six states in the Union having a larger national guard than
"And this is a state that is overwhelmingly committed to peace! This
in a state controlled by progressives who have made attacks on militarism
one of the cardinal points in their platforms!"
But in the appropriation of funds for militarism, Wisconsin ranks
even worse. The last available annual report of the Chief of the Militia
Bureau reveals the fact that in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1922, only
three states appropriated more money for their National Guards than Wis-
consin did. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1923, only four states,
Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, spent more than Wisconsin
for the National Guard.
Pacemaker in War Preparations
When Woodrow Wilson called upon the American workers and poor
farmers to shed their blood in order to make the world safe for capitalist
democracy, LaFollette's state, Wisconsin, rallied to the imperialist colors
and wantonly sacrificed the lives and dollars of the working masses.
Let us listen to a glorification of Wisconsin's war efforts by John M.
Nelson, now national director of LaFollette's presidential campaign, as he
delivered it to Congress on behalf of the Wisconsin delegation, on July
"The President, as Commander-in-Chief, has had our unanimous sup-
port on all war issues. When he asked for appropriations, we gave him all
he asked; when he asked for authority to issue bonds, we gave it to him;
when he asked for authority to control our food, fuel, railroads, telephones,
telegraphs, mines and factories, we gave him the authority; indeed, we
did not hold back as a delegation when he asked for power over our liber-
ties and our lives. . . .
"Once war was declared, I accepted the majority decision for war. I
recall only three votes out of about 120 since war was declared upon which
I was not in full accord with the Administration. . . It has been stated
that I voted against conscription. That is a base falsehood."
Support War Loans
And from the Milwaukee Journal of October 10, 1918, we learn of the
strong support accorded the various war loans in the home of LaFollette,
now seeking workingmen's votes as an anti-war candidate. We quote:
"Total bond sale is $102,000,000.
"The forty-five counties in Wisconsin in the Chicago Reserve Bank
District have bought $102,000,000 worth of bonds compared with a quota
of $100,000,000. Since subscriptions are still being tabulated, the final
total will be still higher. Twenty-seven Wisconsin counties are over 100
per cent, Kenosha leading with 142 per cent. Milwaukee is eighth, with
109 per cent of quota, according to the present tabulation."
The total amount of war bonds sold in the 71 counties of Wisconsin,
according to Pixley in "Wisconsin in the World War," is about
Workers Used as Cannon Fodder
LaFollette's progressive, peace-loving state was as lavish with the
workers' lives, as it was with their money in the last capitalist world war.
In the announcement by Governor Blaine, August 2, 1924, on the pro-
posed Defense Day plans, we are told that the number Wisconsin sent to
the front reached a grand total of 124,814. LaFollette's gubernatorial
candidate then goes on to declare proudly:
"In no war during its history had Wisconsin failed to answer the call
for national defense or within its own boundaries known industrial or
military disorders, and the fact that on July 18, 1918, when American arms
stemmed the tide in the second battle of the Marne, one out of every fifteen
soldiers wearing the American uniform in France came from Wisconsin."
Workers Hate Wisconsin Militarism
The workers of Wisconsin have at no time had any illusions as to the
extensive military preparations going on in the state. The following ap-
pearing in the Milwaukee Leader of May 12, 1921, shows the misgivings of
the workers aroused by the record-breaking military appropriations voted
in the state:
"The efforts to increase its personnel and give greater power to the
National Guard are viewed in labor circles with mistrust and open
declarations that it is not done with an eye to an outside foe, but to pre-
pare to put down labor.
"Labor men claim that Fort Sheridan was located midway between
Chicago and Milwaukee by the capitalistic interests that guide the military
policies, so that regulars will be on hand to meet labor troubles."
The great service the Wisconsin Naional Guard is to the Badger
state bosses can be seen from the fact that, under the usual pretense of
riot and violence, several companies of troops were rushed to terrorize
the workers into submission in the Cudahy strike of August, 1919.
In the strike of the meat cutters against the Cudahy Packing Com-
pany, one of the beef trust firms, Governor E. L, Philipp of Wisconsin
rushed three companies of National Guardsmen from Camp Douglas, fully
equipped and prepared to stay for an indefinite time, in order to "mediate
the dispute" against the workers.
LaFollette Supports Wisconsin Militarism
Robert Marion LaFollette has been a consistent supporter of the mil-
itary system in Wisconsin. In his message as governor he declared in
"The people of Wisconsin should recognize their importance and take
just pride in maintaining the Guard. . . . The model of efficiency in the
military service in this country is the United States Regular Army; and
every effort should be made to bring the militia as near this standard as
Then, in February, 1923, an effort was made, because of the strong
labor opposition to the rapid strides in militarism that Wisconsin was
making, to abolish the National Guard. Even Mrs. LaFollette lent support
to this movement. Senator LaFollette then came upon the scene and led
a vigorous opposition to this effort to abolish the Guard.
The bill to do away with the state militia, hated by the workingmen,
had passed the assembly. Preparations were afoot to fight for its adoption
by the state senate. But LaFollette, the self-styled anti-militarist, soon
entered the lists against the Wisconsin workers, lined up with all the
enemies of organized labor, joined with all the open shoppers and killed
the move to disband the state militarist organization.
LAFOLLETTE IN CONGRESS
IN his twenty-five years at Washington, Robert M. LaFollette has been
the outstanding figure in the fight for but one measure which might
be called a labor law in the strict sense of the term. Except for the fight
led by him in behalf of the enactment of the Seamens' Law, Senator La-
Follette has not been directly connected with any noteworthy labor legis-
It is true he voted for the Woman Suffrage Amendment, the proposed
Child Labor Amendment, the establishment of the Department of Labor,
and the eight-hour day for government employes. It is true he was
against the Ship Subsidy Bill, the Esch-Cummins Act, and the Fordney
McCumber Tariff Bill. But these votes could scarcely be interpreted as
signs of genuine progressivism, as evidence of unrelenting hostility to the
employing class interests. Many Republicans and Democrats have voted
for and against those measures precisely in the same way as LaFollette
did. Yet, no one would on his account call these congressmen and sena-
tors progressives worthy of the support of the workers and farmers.
Many of those who have voted for the Woman's Suffrage Amendment or
the Howell-Barkley Bill for abolishing the Railroad Labor Board are to-
day ardent advocates of the election of Coolidge or Davis.
Progressivism on Wane
If we analyze LaFollette's attitude towards such pressing questions in
Congress as raising the revenue, the regulation of business and the
tariff, we will find that the Wisconsin Senator has not been fundamental-
ly antagnostic to the corporate interests of the country and has conscious-
ly expressed and fought for the needs of the middle and smaller capitalists
as against the encroachments of the biggest capitalist groups. At no time
has LaFollette spoken or worked for the laborers as a class against the
employers exploiting them.
In such questions as the restriction of immigration, the giving of more
power to our capitalist government to the control of the movements of
workers, or in the matter of Japanese exclusion, LaFollette has not taken
a commanding position to stay the hands of the exploiters in utilizing
these occasions to divide and weaken the workers.
Not Against Big Capitalists
In debating the various revenue measures preparatory to America's
entering the war, Senator LaFollette made it very plain in offering his
amendments that he did not relish the idea of being a foe of the business
interests of the land. Thus he declared that he was not in fundamental
disagreement with them on the basic issues and further said : "It is in no
spirit of partisanship that I criticize the revenue bill now before the senate
but in *the hope and belief that that majority is open to argument and will
accept amendments to the measure calculated to improve it without en-
croaching upon any of the tenets, political or economic, of the majority
party." (C. Rec. p. 4489, Feb., 28, 1917.)
In general, LaFollette represented the interests of the small business
class and the small bankers on this all-important question of revenue
raising. On August 18, 1917, for instance, LaFollette voted against a bill
to put a tax of one cent on checks, drafts, etc. Senator Simmons, the
Democratic tax expert, thus explained the opposition to the proposal: "It
is stated correctly that there was a protest, I might say quite a general
protest, on the part of the bankers against this tax, but this protest came
chiefly and especially from the smaller banks."
Further strong interest in the welfare of the small manufacturer and
manufacturing group on the part of LaFollette is displayed in the follow-
ing comment on his amendment to the schedules on wool under considera-
tion in the action on the tariff measure before the senate on June 10, 1909 :
"The great manufacturers have their rights, which should be duly re-
garded. I would not disparage the men who are manufacturing under
this wool schedule. . . .
"The position on the carded wool industry is such as to invite the
earnest attention of congress. It is the last branch of the wool industry
which is still accessible to the man with moderate capital. With the
American Woolen Company in control of about sixty per cent of the out-
put of American woolen cloth, and with the independent manufacturers of
worsted cloth organizing into another combination, the carded wool indus-
try, accords the only chance for the small manufacturer."
Similar solicitousness in behalf of the capitalist class was manifested
by LaFollette when he voted on October 10, 1921, to provide for free tolls,
free transit for American ships through the Panama Canal.
Was Reactionary in Congress
When LaFollette first entered Congress, and during his six years as a
member of the House of Representatives, he was a "regular" in every
sense of the word. LaFollette was a members of the House Ways and
Means committee which framed the McKinley Tariff Bill in 1890. An
examination of the rates on sixty articles in this law shows that on the
whole they were practically identical with the rates on the same articles
in the Fordney-McCumber Act of 1922. Addressing the House of Repre-
sentatives on May 10, 1890, in behalf of the McKinley Bill, LaFollette
"Repeal the protective duties and you have stopped the looms, put out
the fires, stunted as with the hand of death the busy industries of my
state. . . . It is to preserve the markets of this country to our own
producers that we have kept the duties like a breastwork, high enough
to protect the man who is busy adding to the sum of its wealth from as-
sault from any foreign source."
Then, in denouncing the Bryan proposal to establish a stable govern-
ment in the Philippines and then withdraw, LaFollette entered into the
following eulogy of American imperialism:
"The market which the Philippines will afford the U. S. while amount-
ing to many millions annually, is unimportant in contemplation of the
value which will result from the Philippines as a point of distribution
from which American products can command trade in the orient. Prom
that point of vantage, with our harbors at Honolulu and Tutuila, in the
Samoan groups, for coaling, watering, and repairing, we will be ready
to conquer our rightful share of that great market now opening for the
world's commerce. . . . Whatever ensues, under Republican reconstruc-
tion of our plain treaty rights we can legally and morally reserve unto
ourselves perpetual commercial advantages of priceless value to our for-
eign trade from time to time."
Champions Capitalist Tariffs
Though LaFollette is today attacking the Fordney-McCumber Tariff
Law as an iniquitous measure, he has for many years been a high tariff
advocate. It is true, the Wisconsin Moses has of late been changing some-
what his attitude on the question of highest tariff Yet, on the whole his
practice does not indicate a change, even at so late a date as the con-
sideration of the Emergency Tariff in February, 1921.
Working in close co-operation with Dingley and Payne, LaFollette as
a member of the Ways and Means Committee in the Fifty-First Congress
advocated a high tariff duty on tin plate in order to build up this industry.
The American Tin Plate Company, capitalized at more than fifty million
dollars, the Tin Plate Trust, a subsidiary of the United States Steel Cor-
poration, is a monument to LaFollette's progressivism on the tariff.
Then, when the Payne Aldrich Tariff Bill was being considered, La-
Follette put up an aggressive fight to secure an amendment "to enable the
mills now manufacturing print paper in Wisconsin to so adjust them-
selves with respect to the manufacture of paper not requiring spruce wood,
that they could manufacture it economically without changing the location
of those plants."
LaFollette has always been a loyal defender of the zinc interests in
his state. On June 16th, 1909, LaFollette made a special plea to the senate
to lay a duty on zinc "based on the difference in the cost of production in
this country and Mexico. ... a protective duty measuring the differ-
ence between the cost of production in Mexico and in Wisconsin and in
Joplin as well. . . ."
Votes for High Tariff
Several years later appearing before the committee conducting hear-
ings on the Maintenance of a Lobby to Influence Legislation, LaFollette
made an interesting confession explaining why he refused to vote on the
higher tariff rates on zinc, and why he spoke for it. He said in part:
"I own an interest in some zinc bearing lands in Southwestern Wis-
consin. I ought perhaps to say that when the tariff on zinc was under
consideration, four years ago, I felt as one of the Senators representing
the state of Wisconsin in which are located about three counties produc-
ing zinc and lead that it was my duty to present to the senate the argu-
ments that it seemed to me should be made from their standpoint. While
my interest in the matter was such that I wanted to be excused from vot-
ing on the amendment relating to this subject. I felt those I represented
were entitled to have the argument presented and so I made on the floor
of the senate what might be called an argument to influence action upon
the question." (Pages 190-191.)
Scrutinizing the various votes on the emergency tariff (H. R. 15275),
we find that the Wisconsin Senator voted to change the tariff on wheat
from thirty to forty cents, for two cents per pound on frozen meat, the
Smoot amendement for tariff on sugar and molasses, a duty of eight cents
per pound on butter and substitutes, and a tariff on condensed milk.. La-
Follette's votes indicate that he believes in a tariff to protect many of the
business interests of the country.
Progressive Group Shoddy
Senator LaFollette is noted for his ability to fillibuster. On several
occasions, in the Senate, LaFollette has held up various measures by his
ability to talk the proposals of his colleagues of the opposition to death.
Last June LaFollette had an opportunity to prevent the Coolidge
machine from adjourning Congress without being forced to expose its
unwillingness and incompetency to meet the needs and demands of the
bankrupt farming masses. But LaFollette refused to exercise his filibus-
tering skill, which, in this instance, would have struck a damaging blow
at the reactionaries. Instead, he voted for the resolution of Senator Jones
of Washington to adjourn, after making several vain efforts to secure a
majority vote for his proposed stay in session a few weeks longer.
In consideration of the Tax Bill, before the last session of Congress
LaFollette's progressives in the House led in this debate by the Wiscon-
sin Congressman Frear, joined forces with the reactionary Republican
clique to vote for the multi-millionaire Longworth's bill. In doing so,
the progressives did not get a thing from the administration and sacri-
ficed even the insignificant demands they themselves had made towards
shifting the burden of taxation to the richest.
Perhaps the most disgraceful behavior of LaFollette's so-called insur-
gent group was shown in the disastrous sally it made in behalf of liber-
alizing the rules of procedure in the House of Representatives. These pro-
gressives were in a position, through their power to obstruct, to win
recognition for their demands. But the progressive group refused to fight
effectively. It surrendered to the reactionaries by agreeing to a post-
ponement of constructive action for thirty days.
Most of the legislation enacted in Wisconsin is no longer considered
radical. As we have seen, twenty-six of the thirty-one planks that La-
Follette has presented to the Republican convention, prior to the last one,
are now law. Competent political observers, like William Hard, have de-
clared that LaFollette is growing less radical with time.
In this light is it interesting, as well as instructive, to consider the
following written by Richard Barry, in the Hearst's International for Aug.
1922: "When early in the present Congress, some insurgents declared
they would depose Penrose, from his Finance Committee chnirmnnship,
LaFollette refused to join them. Penrose sought out his collc-jigun Trom
Wisconsin and expressed appreciation." Penrose, who is now dead, was
one of the old guard reactionary senators from Pennsylvania.
Mr. Carter Field writing in the New York Tribune of January 18th,
1924, said, apropos of LaFollette's friendship with Penrose: "It was
'Bob' and 'Boies' when they met, and that was not all. When LaFollette
came up for re-election it was Penrose who hurried up to the hated Wall
Street and brought back money to help re-elect 'Bob' every time."
Finally we call upon the Searchlight on Congress, an organ friendly
to LaFollette, to dispel any illusions that may have been spread among
workingmen and poor farmers about the radicalism of the Wisconsin
Senator. We quote from its issue of March 31st, 1924:
"There may be some who look with apprehension upon this strangely
altered situation because of their fear that LaFollette may prove ultra
radical. Let no one lose any sleep on that score. LaFollette is not ultra-
radical. He is not even radical. On the contrary, he is decidedly con-
"His record proves that, when given authority, he slows up."
THE SOCIALIST PARTY AND LAFOLLETTE
FOR many years there was unrelenting hostility between the Socialist
Party and the followers of Senator LaFollette. Despite the repeated
flirtations of the Socialist Party bosses with the Wisconsin reform wizard,
the membership time and again prevented a merger of their organization
with the Badger state senator. In fact, there was a time when feeling ran
so high against such improper political coquetting that a national referen-
dum was held to decide on the expulsion of Berger from the Socialist
Party on the charge of having been guilty of collusion with capitalist
It was this continued, strong opposition of the Socialist Party rank
and file that forced the leaders to denounce LaFollette on many occasions.
Time and again the Socialist membership drove the party officials to at-
tack LaFollette's trust-busting program, the graft with which his machine
was reeking, his anti-labor lieutenants, his opposition to the working
class waging political struggles against the exploiters, and his general
In the light of the success finally achieved by the leaders of the So-
cialist Party in annihilating its last possible claim to be called a party
of independent working class political action, a review of what the Social-
ist rank and file one actually compelled these same leaders to say of
Robert M. LaFollette is very timely.
Charged with LaFollettism
Even twenty years ago Berger had his eye on the LaFollette band-
wagon. In 1905 he was charged, on this score, with having an under-
standing with capitalist parties. It was only his control of the Wisconsin
party machine that saved Berger's political neck and face.
Interesting information on the strong opposition of the general social-
ist membership to these Berger "understandings" is afforded by the fol-
lowing report of the Social Democratic Herald of June 10, 1905:
"The State Executive Board also points to the fact that the National
Committee has not awaited the investigation of the State Executive Board
of Wisconsin but has already removed Comrade Berger from the National
"The finding of the State Executive Board of Wisconsin (Bei'ger
committee) is as follows:
"That no collusion or understanding of any sort whatever exists, or
at any time existed, between the Social Democratic Party of Milwaukee or
Comrade Berger and any capitalistic party, candidate or candidates."
The removal of Berger by the National Committee was then submitted
to a referendum, the Crestline Referendum. 4,215 voted for the expul-
sion of Victor Berger. 4,718 voted against his expulsion. Wisconsin,
where Berger was in absolute control of the party machinery, cast 975
votes. National secretary Mailly then charged that Wisconsin was not
entitled to cast that many votes, as it was much behind in dues, and that
this alone saved Berger from being thrown out by the membership for
his having been in collusion with capitalist parties and politicians.
Then, as now, the dominant capitalist party in Wisconsin was the La-
Follette republican crew.
Attack LaFollette Labor Record
Today LaFollette is in an alliance with the Socialist Party and is
seeking the support of the workers on the basis of his record in Wisconsin
and in Congress. It is this record that the Socialist bureaucracy has
forced its membership to indorse. Let us call upon the Social Democratic
Herald of July 1, 1905, totell us what the Socialists once thought of the
LaFollette regime in the Wisconsin Commonwealth. We read :
"The LaFollette legislature has had the worst record of killing labor
bills of any of its predecessors."
Victor Berger further declared in the Milwaukee Free Press of Sep-
tember 13, 1906: "LaFollette is trying to do the same thing in the Re-
publican party that Altgeld tried in the Democratic, and he will have less
success, because the Democratic party had no principles except to get
graft, while the Republican party has well-defined principles for capitalism
and is proud of them."
As late as April 6, 1923, the Milwaukee Leader took occasion to at-
tack the LaFollette machine because it saved the private detective agen-
cies of Wisconsin. In its comment on the failure of the state senate to
interfere with the private detective agencies breaking strikes, Berger's
"Senator Howard Teasdale, one of the LaFollette senators who swung
over to the lobby for private detective agencies, opposed the bill (to regu-
late) because it would make it difficult for reformers to smell out vice."
LaFollette Class Enemy
Especially significant is the following comment on the Farmer-Labor
Party campaign of 1920 made by the Socialist Party in its national cam-
paign book of that year:
'Its (the Farmer-Labor Party's) selection of Christensen for Presi-
dent a man unknown in the struggles of the workers, a man who was will-
ing to withdraw in favor of LaFollette, shows the danger of deserting the
Socialist Party for the Farmer-Labor Party. LaFollette, Christensen's
choice, was unwilling to have the platform contain a protest in behalf of
the Negro. LaFollette opposed any 'radical' platform. He wanted a 'lib-
eral' platform that would not offend many conservative voters, one that
would not suggest a 'class party.'
"If LaFollette and his views can be satisfactory to Christensen, the
latter cannot be satisfactory to determined and enlightened working men
and women. A class party of the workers is needed." (Page 74.)
It is on this record that LaFollette has won over the Socialist Party
leadership. LaFollette has not dropped his vigorous opposition to a class
party of the workers. The Wisconsin senator is as vociferous as ever in
his denunciation of any and all who dare call his program radical. At the
Cleveland Conference it was LaFollette's influence that prevented the
gathering from taking an official attitude towards the Negro problem
and the Ku Klux Klan.
In 1920 LaFollette failed in his effort to kill the Farmer-Labor Party.
In 1920 the Farmer-Labor Party refused to permit LaFollette to dictate
its principles. Four years after, last July, 1924, LaFollette succeeded in
striking a mortal blow at the farmer-labor movement. The same socialist
leaders who denounced these efforts of LaFollette in 1920 helped the same
LaFollette to undertime the independent working class political movement
in 1924. And this in spite of the fact that today, more than ever before,
there is an urgent need for a class party of the workers!
Socialists Right-About Face
In the past the Socialists have not minced words in ripping up La-
Follette's trust-busting program. On September 3, 1904, the Wisconsin
Socialist state convention adopted a resolution which read: "As for Gov-
ernor LaFollette, he is powerless against the trusts and capitalists, be-
cause, as a good Republican and lawyer, he cannot consistently oppose
property rights of any kind. These rights are more sacred to all so-
called reformers than the rights of man."
Daniel Hoan, now Socialist mayor of Milwaukee, has made it clear
in his pamphlet "The Failure of Regulation" that: "Not only were trusts
not prosecuted in Wisconsin while Senator LaFollette was governor, but
they have not been prosecuted before or since in spite of the fact that
there was then and is now a statute (section 1791-j) which provides in
substance that any combination organized under the laws of Wisconsin,
which shall enter into any combination or agreement to prevent compe-
tition or to control prices, shall, in an action instituted by the attorney-
goneral of the state, have its charter revoked."
But Hoan has changed his mind, though LaFollette has not. Today,
Hoan is asking the working men to vote for this program of LaFollette.
Before the Socialist Party committed suicide it, now and then, took
occasion to expose the so-called progressivism of LaFollette and his fol-
lowers. Commenting on LaFollette's support of one Thompson against
the labor leader Frank J. Weber, running for the United States Senate, the
Milwaukee Leader said on October 22, 1920:
"And here comes Bob LaFollette and his would-be progressives and
would-be union men and puts up Mr. Thompson. . . That's dirty politics
on the part of the progressives, who by the way are composed of town
politicians and fake labor leaders who are looking to LaFollette to pick
them up and give them a better office not for the best interests of the
people, but to further their own ends and keep the progressive forces
Summing up the net results of LaFollette's program in Wisconsin,
Mayor Hoan declared in his "Failure of Regulation" (Page 54): "The
results which followed the enactment of the law regulating public service
corporations in Wisconsin have very much pleased the special interests.
The chief reasons for this are the following: The largest consumers get
the lowest rates. Public utility stocks and bonds enjoy a rise in value.
The utility corporation is protected from competition. The owners are
granted an indeterminate franchise. The investors are granted large
What more could the employers ask from the government?
Talks Against Progressives
Finally, Victor Berger addressing Congress on May 10, 1924, character-
ized the spurious progressives, at whose feet he is now worshiping, in the
following stinging manner: "Our progressive politicians are also worse
than useless, so long as they hang on to the coat tails of the old parties,
because these progressives are simply assisting in the sham battle,
"No matter what beautiful phrases this or the other great progressive
leader may use in order to get the votes of the 'plain people' the policy
of both, and especially of the Republican party, is invariably dictated
by Wall Street and high finance."
Yet, today, three months after this speech Berger has driven his
party to become part and parcel of the LaFollette movement, of the La-
Follette organization which is supporting many Republican and Demo-
cratic congressmen, senators and governors who are avowed enemies of
the workers. In Wisconsin, for instance, LaFollette is backing Governor
Blain who is scores of miles away from progressivism. In New York,
for example, LaFollette is supporting the Republican Congressman Dick-
stein against the Socialist, Meyer London. In Montana, LaFollette and
Wheeler are behind Senator Walsh whom the State Federation of Labor
has denounced in its last convention as a bitter foe of the workers, and as
the author of the state criminal syndicalist law.
What About Members?
What will the rank and file of the Socialist Party say to this complete
right-about-face of their leaders? How will they look upon their party
committing hari-kari as an independent political organization? Is there
no way in which they can square accounts with their mislead ers who
have stabbed in the back the movement for independent working class
Will they be satisfied to follow the leadership of and put their faith
in LaFollette who has for years done everything in his power to thwart
the attempts of the workers to organize themselves as a class to fight
politically against their exploiters?
Merely to put these questions is to answer them for the class-con-
scious workers of the entire country.
THE LAFOLLETTE PROGRAM
THERE are two sacred parts to the ritual of the so-called "progres-
sive" movement led by Senator Robert M. LaFollette.
First, we have an insistence on substituting for the highly concen-
trated industrial system of today a free, competitive capitalist order
of yesterday. Then, being dominantly a movement in the interests of
the middle and lower strata of the capital-owning class, it is opposed to
rule by the working class or rule by the uppermost and highest devel-
oped, corporate exploiting groups.
In practice, however, the latter attitude tends more and more to
translate itself into a policy of implacable hostility to the establishment
of a workers' and farmers' republic. In the everyday political life of
the country, this pillar of LaFolletteism is becoming an ever-more dan-
gerous obstacle in the path of the workingmen and exploited farmers
who are seeking to end the dictatorship of the capitalist class. This
"non-partisan" doctrine is today a toxin sapping the very life-blood and
energy of the working masses who are craving, still vaguely and uncon-
sciously in the main, for an economic order in which there will be no
exploited workers and employing class exploiters — big, medium, or small.
Let us, then, look into the political validity and economic soundness
of these features of the LaFollette program.
An Impossible Fight
For more than three decades LaFollette has been massing his bat-
teries against the "combined power of the private monopoly system over
the political and economic life of the American people." During all
these years the Wisconsin Senator has looked upon John Sherman,
father of the still-born Sherman anti-trust act, as his god. Even in the
July 4 letter accepting the presidential nomination by the Progressive
Conference, LaFollette spoke of Sherman as "The clearest-visioned Re-
publican statesman of his time" and called the Sherman Law, enacted
by a Republican Congress in 1890, "the most effective weapon that the
ingenuity of man could devise against the power of monopoly."
This weapon has proved ingenious indeed! The trend of economic
development in the United States has for some time proved and proves
today that the economics on which the LaFollette movement bases its
politics is hopelessly wrong. Concentration of industry and finance has
been making strides in seven-league boots. No amount of indignant
yopping could or can prevent this tendency. Assuming that all the
witch-doctors' remedies against trusts proved successful, the very day
on which free, capitalist competition would be restored, would be the
same day on which this competition would start to dig its own grave and
thru elimination and mergers would continually beget concentration of
ownership and centralization of control — trustification.
Trusts Go Forward
Despite years of hunting the trusts with whips and torches, the giant
corporations have steadily gained in strength. The march of the forces
making for large-scale production has gone on apace. The thirty-three
powerful Standard Oil subsidiaries whose oil wells and pipe lines over-
flow and undermine the country, are thirty-three living monuments to
the inefficiency of anti-trust legislation and to the uselessness of judicial
dissolution suits. The tobacco, steel, copper, coal, and other monopolies
tell similar stories.
But it is the dull, dreary, and apparently uninspiring figures of
American economic development that plumb the depths of the economic
fallacy of trust-busting.
We find that, in the manufacturing industries, the proportion of es-
tablishments employing 501 and more workers increased from 28 per
cent in 1909 to 39.6 per cent in 1919. At the same time the proportion
of manufacturing establishments employing from one to fifty workers
fell from 26 per cent in 1909 to 19.4 per cent in 1919.
In 1909, only 25.9 per cent of the manufacturing industries employing
75.6 per cent of the workers and accounting for 79 per cent of the total
value of the commodities produced, were corporation-owned. By 1919
the proportion of corporation-owned manufacturing establishments rose
to 31.5 per cent; the percentage of workers employed reached 86.5 per
cent; and the value of the commodities produced by these workers
mounted to 87.7 per cent of the total.
During this decade, 1909-1919, the proportion of individually-owned
plants declined from 52.4 to 47.6 per cent; the percentage of the workers
thus employed fell from 12.2 to 6.9 per cent; and the value of these prod-
ucts sank from 9.9 to 5.7 per cent of the total.
And Wisconsin, the citadel of LaFollette today ranks fifth in the pro-
portion of its manufacturing industries which are corporation-owned.
The Badger State has 92.6 per cent of its manufacturing plants owned by
Concentration Goes on Apace
Prom 1914 to 1919 the number of manufacturing concerns producing
less than $5,000 a year declined from 97,060 to 65,485. In this period the
plants producing from $20,000 to $100,000 annually, rose from 56,814 to
77,911; plants turning out from $100,000 to $500,000 rose from 25,847 to
39,647; plants producing from $500,000 to $1,000,000 yearly mounted from
4,320 to 9,208; and factories producing more than one million dollars
advanced from 3,819 to 10,414. Thus, the most concentrated industries
show gains in strength ranging from 200 to 300 per cent.
Then, the number of wage workers employed by corporations pro-
ducing a value of less than one million dollars fell from 4,560,241 to 3,-
923,662. On the other hand, the total employed in manufacturing indus-
tries increased in this period. At the same time the number of workers
employed by manufacturing establishments producing one million dol-
lars or more, rose from 2,476,006 to 5,172,712.
Finally, in 1914, less than half of the total value of manufactured
products were turned out in plants producing more than one million dol-
lars. By 1919, the proportion of the total value of manufactured com-
modities turned out in plants producing more than one million dollars
annually was well over two-thirds.
Indeed, insofar as the effectiveness of the anti-trust laws matters,
they have proved their mettle only against the organizations of the
workers. Such bitter experiences have these anti-trust edicts proved to
the workingmen that, today, even the American Federation of Labor is
for their repeal. It is significant that the Clayton Act, once called by
Gompers the "Magna Charta" of Labor, has lost nearly all of its favor
with its worshippers of yesterday.
But even if LaFollette's program were realizable, would it be de-
sirable? The answer is decisively NO. It is not large-scale production,
it is not highly centralized industry that is responsible for the sufferings
and hardships of the great mass of our population. Small-scale compe-
titive capitalist production, assuming that it could be perpetuated, is
socially undesirable. It would deprive the masses of many of their gains
achieved by them thru years of bitter struggle for higher standards of
Standing on Its Head
LaFollette's economic program is standing on its head. Marx would
say that "It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover
the rational kernel within the mystical shell." The trouble with the
present system of production and exchange is not that it is highly de-
veloped. The basic trouble is that the highly concentrated, large-scale
means of production and exchange, all socially used, are privately owned
for private profits. The way to end these anti-social conditions giving
rise to unemployment, long hours, degrading working conditions, and
numerous other causes of suffering among the masses is to end the pri-
vate ownership of capital.
But this is precisely what LaFollette is inveterately opposed to. La
Follette is a determined defender of the private ownership of capital
of the means of the production and exchange, socially used. The social-
ization of the tursts, the socialization of the well-developed means of
subsistence, is anathema to LaFollette, for it would mean the end of the
private profit, the capitalist system.
Useless Immediate Objectives
Consequently, no one will swallow LaFollette's anti-trust proposals
at a gulp. In the light of the story of our economic development aim
Is umber 1 of the "progressive" platform striving for "The use of the
power of the federal government to crush private monopoly, not to foster
it holds out no hope to the workers.
And so long as private owners, capitalists, are with us to coin the
advantages of large-scale production primarily for the enhancement of
their profits, point Number Four of LaFollette's program, "the repeal of
excessive tariff duties, especially on trust-controlled necessities of life "
becomes a meaningless phrase.
Point Seven, seeking "legislation to control the meat-packing in-
dustry," is simply another instance of flying in the face of facts. For
years LaFollette has been after the packing interests. Yet, today, their
hold on the government is as strong as ever. This is due to the fact that
the ownership of so vital a necessity is permitted to rest in private
hands. This is just what LaFollette refuses to disturb.
Turning our attention to the second, the political phase of LaFol-
letteism, we are not surprised to find the strongest opposition to work-
ing class action.
When the "progressive" platform says that "class gains are tempo-
rary," it is merely befogging the issue. History's verdict on this point
is as much opposed to LaFoIIetteism as the science of economics is to
his anti-trust program. The story of the American Revolutionary War
the outcome of the Civil War, the gigantic strikes waged by our workers'
the demoralizing attacks and outrages perpetrated by the LaFollette
group against the movement for the independent working class political
action, and the very campaign LaFollette himself is now leading, all give
the lie to this unfounded proposal.
The best way in which the greatest numbers of the members of any
economic group can achieve the maximum politico-social advantages is
thru co-ordinated disciplined political action on a broad scale against
the opposing economic group. This, of course, is Class action This
is exactly what LaFollette is attempting to do in behalf of his own
class of small manufacturers, petty businessmen, and mushroom bankers.
More Empty Gestures
Hence Point Eleven of LaFollette's program asking for tho "Junc-
tion of all federal judges without party designation for limited terms'
is an empty gesture. With the press, the means of production and ex-
change, the means of government, information, and misinformation all
being in the hands of the exploiters; with the very running for office
having been trained in capitalist class law and institutions, it is a
travesty on the workers' intelligence to expect them to accept such
noisy but worthless phraseology.
Last but not least, it is natural for so energetic a spokesman of the
middle business interests as LaFollette to denounce any attempt that
might be made by the workers as a class towards asserting their poli-
tical power. Such action by the workers would take them out of the
Wisconsin Senator's political camp and would in time bring them into
a sharp clash with the exploiters of all dimensions and all intentions, as
a class. Defeat, for all capitalists of all sizes is the much-dreaded out-
come that LaFollette foresees in all moves towards independent work-
ing class political action. This explains LaFollette's undermining the
St. Paul convention and his attack on the Communists.
Workers Do Organize
But no wholesale dabbling in the glorification of the non-partisan
appeal by fraudulent progressives can change the course of economic
development. Capitalist industry itself, and not evil men or bad spirits,
gives rise to an increasingly sharpening class struggle. Capitalism it-
self tends to lay the firm foundation for the organization of the workers
as a class, along political lines.
It is the very experiences of the workers in their struggles with all
strata of the employing class that gives rise to and prepare the ground
for the working class setting up its own governing, state apparatus.
These conditions and such experiences determine the character of the
new state machinery organically and best suited to guarantee the rule
of the working class towards the end of building a social order free
from the economic class divisions of exploiter and exploited —
Below is a list of good pamphlets. Each one of them deals
with a vital problem in a brief and comprehensive manner. Will
you procure a copy for yourself? Will you procure a copy for
your friend, shop mate and fellow unionist, and sell them to him?
IT WILL DO A LOT OF GOOD!
S THE LAFOLLETTE ILLUSION, Jav Lovestone 15c E=
g PARTIES AND ISSUES IN THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN, F=
== A. Bittelman 10c §=
1 UNEMPLOYMENT, Why It Occurs and How to Fight It, j|
== Earl R. Browder 5c =
E= PROGRAM OF THE WORKERS PARTY 5c =
= RUSSIA IN 1924, William Z. Foster 10c =
S AMERICAN IMPERIALISM, Jay Uove^lcne 15c H
M BANKRUPTCY OF THE AMERICAN LABOR MOVEMENT, ==
1 William Z. Foster 25c =
= DECLINE OF CAPITALISM, Prof E. Varga 25c =
| NO COMPROMISE, W. Liebknecht 10c §
g AMALGAMATION, Jay Fox 15c g
1 AND OTHERS =
= If you need authentic information about how and what the 3
== American government is doing during strikes of the American =
■3 workers, then get a copy of ttfce following books at once: =
= THE GREAT STEEL STRIKE, illustrated, W. Z. Foster $1.00 §
g THE GOVERNMENT STRIKE-BREAKER, Jay Lovcstone.. 1.50 §
M See the evidence and be convinced. ^
^ Order from =
| Literature Department, |
= Workers Party of America, §
§ 1113 W. Washington Blvd., |
= Chicago, III. =
= Radical discount on larger orders. =
I RADICAL BOOKS I
Economics, History, Social Sciences,
Psychology, Evolution and Revolution
Superstition and ignorance is protected by the privileged
classes who live on the labor of others. Modern Science
and revolutionary ideas are welcomed by the workers who
keep society alive.
Catalogues describing books from the
workers' view-point sent on request.
your books needs to the
Workers Party of America
11 1 1 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, III.
IMIMIIIIMI Ill IIIIIIHII IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMIIIlMllllllllllllllllllllllillllllllltllllllllllllllllllllllllll
11 25 Amsterdam Av«>
Opp. Columbia Unrv
New York 2«1. N. V